When Apple announced the new iPad Mini with Retina Display this week, it vaguely noted that it would begin shipping sometime in late November. Now comes word that the iPad Mini with Retina Display may be in short supply when it does actually launch.
According to IHS iSuppli director Rhoda Alexander, "The supply for that product is severely constrained. We don't expect to see meaningful volume" until early 2014.
The reason behind the rumored supply constraints has to do with manufacturing yields which are reportedly much lower for the smaller-screened iPad Mini than for the full-sized, 9.7-inch iPad.
Mac Rumors further relays an estimate from analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, who anticipates that Apple will only ship approximately 2.2 million iPad Mini with Retina Display units during 2013.
Well that can't be good for Apple's holiday quarter, though with the most expansive iPad lineup to date (the iPad Air, iPad 2, iPad Mini, iPad Mini with Retina Display), perhaps it won't have that much of an impact on Apple's bottom line.
Notably, the iPad Air lacks the Touch ID so prominently featured on the iPhone 5s. While this could be a strategic move on Apple's part, it might also be the result of low yields on fingerprint sensors for the 5s. Remember that Apple is still trying to keep up with iPhone 5s demand, reportedly ordering a 75% increase in production. All that being said, perhaps Apple simply couldn't ramp up Touch ID production to an acceptable level to grace the iPad Air with it. In other words, with the iPad Mini with Retina Display in short supply, the last thing Apple needs is to have its new flagship iPad Air in short supply as well.