iPad Mini supply issues: Even worse than Apple expected?

While it's known the iPad Mini with Retina Display won't be in plentiful supply, the shortages may be more than Apple bargained for, according to a Nikkei report.

Brooke Crothers Former CNET contributor
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.
Brooke Crothers
2 min read
The iPad Mini with Retina Display isn't going to be widely available until spring, claims an analyst speaking to Nikkei. James Martin/CNET

A report out of Japan is painting a bleak supply picture for the iPad Mini with Retina Display, which is causing consternation at one Japanese carrier.

Currently, LG Display and Sharp are both stipulated as display suppliers for the new iPad Mini. Problem is, LGD is the only one having any success at achieving production, according to a DisplaySearch Japan analyst cited in a Nikkei report. But even LGD is not faring that well at the moment. The report characterizes production at LGD as "not close to full production."

As a result, Apple is now turning to Samsung. But that erstwhile supplier to Apple will not be ready to deliver any kind of volume until well into next year, according to the report.

While the Nikkei story echoes earlier reports about new iPad Mini shortages, the degree of severity appears to be more than Apple bargained for.

And that is causing concern for one of Apple's newest -- and largest -- carriers, NTT DoCoMo, which just began selling Apple's iPhone for the first time with the release of the iPhone 5S. DoCoMo also wants to begin selling the new iPad Mini and sees it as an attractive product but supply just isn't there, according to the report.

On Monday, Apple's CEO said "it's unclear whether we'll have enough for the quarter or not at the company's earnings conference call.

The iPad Mini with Retina Display starts at $399 and its 7.9-inch display boasts a stunning 2,048x1,536-pixel resolution, which comes to 326 pixels per inch, one of the highest-resolution tablets out there.

Sharp and LGD Display have yet to reply to a request for comment.

First Look
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