Happy problem? IHS says Apple won't be able to meet new iPad mini demand in Q4

by David Needle

October 24 2013

If you're planning to buy one of Apple's new iPad minis with Retina display, better get your order in early.

When Apple announced the new iPad Air Tuesday it was very clear about availability, noting it will become go on sale starting November 1. 

But Apple was less precise about the iPad mini with Retina display, noting it would be available "later in November" perhaps an indication that the tech giant isn't quite so ready on the supply side with the smaller tablet.

Now research firm IHS says it expects Apple won't be able to meet demand this holiday season once the iPad mini with Retina display does go on sale. The shortfall is expected to greatly improve by Q1 2014.

But for this quarter, IHS analysts project Apple will only be able to ship less than four million second generation iPad minis -- possibly only three million.

"Only" is the key phrase here, since IHS notes 8.9 million iPad minis sold in the same quarter a year ago.

"Apple is being rather vague about the exact availability date of the new iPad mini with Retina Display, simply stating that the product would ship later in November,” noted Rhoda Alexander, director of tablet research at IHS. “The company has good reason to be coy about the exact release date, given that supply of the new mini is going to be ridiculously tight in the fourth quarter. The heart of the problem is supply constraints on the new Retina panel.”

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