It’s something we hear often in the world of Apple rumors. “Such and such” device won’t arrive on time because “such and such” part is too difficult to make in big enough quantities. We heard it in the months running up the iPhone 5s launch regarding the fingerprint sensor. And yet, Apple had enough iPhone 5s units made to have its best ever opening weekend of sales. This time around, it’s the Retina display equipped iPad mini.
Reuters, this morning, claims that the next iPad mini’s display has only just entered production. It claims Apple may not release the second generation 7.9″ tablet until 2014.
“Apple’s supply chain is only now gearing up to make retina displays for the iPad Mini, which means the gadgets could be available in only limited quantities this year, if at all, and the company may miss the chance to cash in on the year-end holiday shopping season, the sources said.”
It was expected that Apple would be launching the 2nd iPad mini alongside the iPad 5 at an event later this month, with release set for the end of October/beginning of November. But it’s not the first time we’ve read speculation that Cupertino might not release the two new iPads at the same time. It seems the only tablet anyone has any certainty on is the full-size 5th generation iPad. The next 9.7″ tablet is rumored to feature a similar design to the iPad mini, and has had its parts leaked a number of times to seemingly confirm those rumors.
As with any rumor, it’s worth reserving a little skepticism. Apple has been known to change its mind, and has – in the past – released devices knowing the initial supply was low. We’ve seen it recently with the iPhone 5s, and I doubt that low numbers will get in the way of an iPad mini launch. Unless those numbers are so low that it’s completely impossible to release the device in a month’s time.