Rumors surrounding the iPad Mini have been making the rounds this week. First off came word that Apple would be sending out invitations to an iPad Mini special event on October 10th, which if true, would likely mean that a full-on launch would happen either in late October or early November.
Following that came a more credible report from the Wall Street Journal claiming that mass production on the iPad Mini had already begun.
That said, there may be some growing pains along the way for suppliers as they try and churn out Apple’s latest iPad in mass quantities.
According to analyst Brian White of Topeka Capital Markets, he’s heard whispers from suppliers that the specs demanded by Apple for the iPad Mini are rather challenging and that yields may not exactly be where they need to be at first, resulting in tight supply. Indeed, White relays that yields for the device have been “frustrating” and that Apple was actually planning to introduce the iPad Mini in September but had to push everything back by a few weeks as a result.
“Despite continued yield challenges, the supply chain feels the much anticipated iPad Mini is on track to reach acceptable volume levels for a launch over the next month,” White explained in his research note. “That said, we believe that supply constraints will initially hold back the full sales potential during the first month or so of the launch.”
Interestingly, White has a pricepoint of $250-300 for the device, which is just a tad higher than the $199 pricepoint other analysts have suggested. And with the Google Nexus 7 and the Amazon Kindle Fire available in the $156-$200 range, I don’t think it’s absurd to think that Apple would price the iPad Mini extremely aggressively.