Citi conducted a poll involving 50 Apple stores last week, which revealed that the stores were running out of the iPad mini but the iPad 4 (the refreshed version of the new iPad) was readily available.
80% of the Apple stores involved in the poll revealed that there were some variants of the iPad mini were available. However, 96% revealed that the overall availability of the smaller iPads was based on stock, storage capacity, and the colour options customers were looking for. The 32GB version of the 7.9-inch iPad was the version that was mostly available.
On the other hand, 100% of the stores involved revealed that the iPad 4 was readily available. Only 6% said that they had limited stock.
Speaking at an investors note, Glen Yeung, a Citi analyst, said, “While not explicitly asked, it is clear in our survey work that [the] iPad 4 is not selling well, cannibalized by Mini sales.”
Yeung estimates that approximately 10 million units of the iPad mini were manufactured for the last quarter of the year. He also estimates that 10 to 15 million units of every other version of the iPad were manufactured for the same period.
Yeung also reckons that the iPad mini’s short supply is due to manufacturing issues. The analyst cites a report that broke out on the 27th of November from the Economic Daily, claiming that the iPhone-maker asked AU Optronics (its panel supplier for the iPad) to stop shipments due to a large number of defective panels.
DigiTime’s sources also claimed that AU Optronics is suffering from production delays that have caused its panel shipments to fall. The Cupertino firs is reportedly relying more on LG Displays (its second supplier) to build the panels for the iPad.
Speaking to Bloomberg, AU Optronics has denied the report, saying that panel production is normal.
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