The iPad mini has yet to be released and can’t even be pre-ordered yet, but an industry analyst is warning that Apple might have a hard time keeping up with demand in the weeks after this tablet is introduced.
According to Richard Shim from the market-research firm DisplaySearch, one of the two companies making the 7.9-inch touchscreen to be used in this device is having production problems that are limiting the number of panels that can be produced.
AUO was reportedly only able to produce 100,000 units last month. Its plan is to make 400,000 units this month, 800,000 units November, and 1 million in December. By contrast, LG Display made 300,000 panels in September, and it plans to make a million in October, 2.5 million in November, and 3 million in December.
If these figures are correct, then when the iPad mini debuts on Nov. 2, Apple will have at most 1.8 million units on hand. Whether that will be enough to satisfy pre-orders is not yet known. Apple’s tablets have proven to be quite poplar, and the company recently sold its 100 millionth iPad.
LG Display is supplying panels to Foxconn, while AUO is making them for Pegatron. Those two companies will handle the actual assembly.
It is interesting to note that, according to the DisplaySearch analyst, Samsung is not making screens for the iPad mini at all. Just a few years ago, Samsung made all iPad displays, but since then it and Apple have become embroiled in a series of patent-infringement lawsuits related to tablets and smartphones.