Stop us if you’ve heard this before: A new Apple product is likely to be hard to find after launch. That’s right, analysts and component suppliers are all saying the new iPad Mini 2 will be in very short supply in the run up to Christmas, primarily due to the 7.9-inch Retina display panel Apple has slapped on the front.
The latest speculation comes from the director of Tablet and Monitor Research at market research firm IHS iSuppli, who told CNet, “The supply for that product is severely constrained,” adding that the numbers show there won’t be, “meaningful volume until the first quarter of 2014.” The small size and increased pixel density of the iPad Mini 2’s screen is said to make it hard to produce in large numbers.
While this sort of speculation is common, there’s some evidence Apple isn’t sure it can meet initial demand, as the iPad Mini 2 hasn’t been given a final release date yet. Its larger counterpart, the iPad Air, is coming on November 1, but the only word on the Mini 2 is it’ll be arriving later in the month. Apple usually makes a point of letting everyone know when its new hardware will be on sale, but during the October event, it failed to provide an exact date for the iPad Mini 2 or the Mac Pro computer.
Even before the Retina-equipped iPad Mini was announced, problems with supply were being discussed. Sources inside the Apple supply chain told Reuters in early October there could be trouble ahead, as the 7.9-inch Retina panels had only just started down the production lines. Again, it was estimated the screen wouldn’t hit acceptable manufacturing levels until next year.
So, if you’re hoping to grab an iPad Mini 2 over the holiday season, expect to have to work for it. But then, you were probably already expecting that.