iPad Mini Retina arrives -- with supply issues, says analyst

Apple says the iPad Mini with Retina Display is "coming later in November." But ample supply may not come till next year.

Apple's iPad Mini page says, 'Coming later in November.' But supply may be constrained beyond that, says IHS iSuppli.
Apple's iPad Mini page says, 'Coming later in November.' But supply may be constrained beyond that, says IHS iSuppli. Apple

Previous rumors about limited supply of Apple's iPad Mini Retina seem to be coming true.

Apple's updated iPad Mini page states that the new Retina version of Apple's most popular iPad won't be available until "later in November" (see image at top).

But even when the $399 tablet (starting price) becomes available in November, the initial supply may be a relative trickle if demand goes through the roof.

"The supply for that product is severely constrained," said Rhoda Alexander, director of Tablet and Monitor Research at IHS iSuppli.

"We don't expect to see meaningful volume until first quarter [of 2014]."

Part of the problem seems to be centered on making enough of the pixel-dense Mini's 7.9-inch 2048-by-1536 Retina Displays.

That's the same resolution on Apple's larger iPad Air but in a much smaller package -- which drives up pixel density, making it more difficult to make in the very high volumes that Apple needs.

The iPad Air has a pixel density of a relatively modest 264 pixels per inch, but that jumps to 326 pixels per inch for the new Mini.

Apple faced supply-demand problems for the original Mini too.

Apple did not respond to a request for comment.

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About the author

Brooke Crothers writes about mobile computer systems, including laptops, tablets, smartphones: how they define the computing experience and the hardware that makes them tick. He has served as an editor at large at CNET News and a contributing reporter to The New York Times' Bits and Technology sections. His interest in things small began when living in Tokyo in a very small apartment for a very long time.

 

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