iPad Mini, iMac to face supply shortages, report claims

Shipments of both devices will be limited until the first quarter of next year, according to DigiTimes.

Apple's iPad Mini.
Apple's iPad Mini. Josh Miller/CNET

Apple may ship a smaller number of iPad Minis and iMacs this year than initially targeted, say the folks at DigiTimes.

Manufacturers of display panels for Apple's new 7-inch tablet are running into low yield rates, while companies making the backlight modules are facing a limited stock of supplies. Those two issues will affect the number of iPad Minis that can be shipped this year, sources reportedly told DigiTimes.

Both AU Optronics and LG Display provide the panels for the iPad Mini . But AU Optronics has bumped into production issues, causing its percentage of shipments to fall to around 22 percent from the initial goal of 40 percent, the sources said.

Apple reportedly set a shipment target of 10 million iPad Minis for the current quarter. But in light of the production stall at AU Optronics, that number may reach only 6 million.

Production of the new-model iMacs is also running into delays. Responsible for the new iMac's panels, LG Display had to create a new process to mass produce the component. That process so far is yielding a limited number of parts, which in turn is stalling shipments, according to DigiTimes' sources.

The new 21.5-inch iMac will be available for consumers this Friday, while the 27-inch model won't start to ship until December.

Shipments of both products should rise early next year. That's when suppliers will begin to see higher revenue as they make more components for the new devices. At the same time, they should be able to bump up their production, helping Apple reach its shipment targets during next year's first quarter.

But 2013 may bring its own supply issues, this time centered on chips. With Samsung apparently having lost favor as the chip supplier for Apple's iPads and iPhones, the pressure will be on Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacture Company to ramp up its production capability to adequate volumes, DigiTimes says.

CNET contacted Apple for comment and will update the story if the company responds.

About the author

Journalist, software trainer, and Web developer Lance Whitney writes columns and reviews for CNET, Computer Shopper, Microsoft TechNet, and other technology sites. His first book, "Windows 8 Five Minutes at a Time," was published by Wiley & Sons in November 2012.


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