Prior to the official introduction, we had heard that production of the iPad mini with retina display had just started and could impact Apple’s ability to meet demand. Apple’s most popular tablet is not coming until sometime in late November, just in time for the holidays. If it were out tomorrow, demand would be high, let alone dropping it just before the shipping season. According to Rhoda Alexander, director of Tablet and Monitor Research at IHS iSuppli, “The supply for that product is severely constrained.” This corroborates with previous reports, so it looks like purchasing an iPad mini with retina display is not going to an easy task.
Apple has had difficulty meeting demand for the iPhone 5s, which has been out since late September. Shipping times are still at 2-3 weeks for new orders on the Apple Store. This doesn’t bode well for the iPad mini 2 supply.
The first generation iPad mini was wildly popular, but lacked a high resolution display. Apple’s managed to retain their stellar battery life of 10 hours, thanks in part to the power efficiency of the A7 processor, which also boasts desktop class performance, while adding a display that pushes 326 pixels per inch. Apple essentially skipped a generation, moving from the A5 to A7 chipset. The diminutive iPad mini 2 shares the specs of the flagship iPad Air.
Trouble appears to be centered around the manufacturing of the 7.9-inch retina display. This late in the calendar year, expectations are for supplies to remain tight throughout the remainder of 2013.
“We don’t expect to see meaningful volume until first quarter [of 2014],” said Alexander.
If you’ve got your sights set on an iPad mini 2 for yourself or a loved one, I’d advise you keep on eye out for the on-sale date. These will go quick and will be tough to find.