Apple’s much-rumored and highly-anticipated “iPad mini” is 4 to 6 weeks behind its production schedule due to manufacturing issues faced by suppliers, according to Topeka Capital Markets supply chain analyst Brian White. In a note Thursday, Mr. White predicted that these problems will result in a relatively small 5 to 7 million units sold in the December quarter.
Similar to the iPhone 5, we sensed that suppliers have found the specs around Apple’s 7.85-inch “iPad Mini” to be a challenge and yields have been frustrating. In our view, this is the reason the “iPad Mini” is 4–6 weeks behind our original launch expectation that we discussed in June… We believe that supply constraints will initially hold back the full sales potential during the first month or so of the launch.
As for a potential price, increasingly credible tablets from companies such as Amazon and Google have defined the price range for a 7- to 8-inch tablet at $200 to $250. In keeping with Apple’s insistence on high margins and lack of pressure to be a price leader, Mr. White feels that the “iPad mini” will arrive slightly higher, in the $250 to $300 range.
iPad mini rendering via MacRumors.
Even at this slightly higher price, the smaller iPad will share the “iconic aesthetics” of its larger sibling and “blow away” competing products, Mr. White argues.
Apple is expected to announce the iPad mini, and possibly an updated third generation iPad featuring the new Lightning connector, at a special event this month. Recent rumors suggest that invitations for the event will be distributed on October 10, with the event itself approximately one week later, although earlier rumors also suggested a possible event at the end of the October.