“Ridiculously tight” constraints on supplies of the iPad mini 2 will massively limit availability in the crucial Christmas period and could even force Apple to delay its release until next year, an analyst predicts.
In a post on market analysis company IHS electronics and media's website, Rhona Alexander, director of tablet research, claims that stocks of the iPad mini 2 are just one-third of the iPad mini at this time last year.
Unveiled this week alongside a new version of the full size iPad, dubbed iPad air, The iPad mini 2 is the first micro-slate from Apple to feature the company’s super high-density Retina Display technology.
Apple announced the iPad air is going on sale in the first week of November. Perhaps tellingly, the tech giant was less clear about a due date for the iPad mini 2, disclosing only that it expects to start selling it "later in November".
Alexander has interpreted that as a sign that supply problems with the iPad mini 2 are severe. So severe, in fact, that Apple could put back the release to “February or March”.
She said: "In addition to potentially providing an extra boost to iPad shipments in 2014, [delaying the iPad mini 2] would also allow Apple to own the product news cycle for much of the year, which provides a lot of free advertising for the Apple brand.
"The down side is that it would have positioned them with a year-old product for the critical holiday quarter and the January 30th Chinese New Year.”
Would a delay of that size really happen? Well, it's not without completely precedent where Apple is concerned. Anyone remember the white iPhone 4S?
However, we just can't see Apple holding fire that long. We think it's more likely the tech giant will release the tablet in November and just brace itself for a slew of complaints from frustrated would-be owners.
Better that surely than effectively concede the Christmas tablet market to Android, with no product to even go up against the likes of the Nexus 7 Redux.
Alongside an improved screen, the iPad mini 2 features more processing power (care of Apple’s A7 and M7 processors), faster downloads over Wi-Fi and support for more LTE 4G standards.