Friday's iPad Launch Arrives with Mixed News
It’s iPad Friday!
There’s positive news for one iPad but even more concerning news for another. Here’s what you need to know on iPad Friday.
Apple's (NASDAQ: AAPL) newly redesigned tablet is now on sale all over the world, and as expected, supply is ample.
As of Friday morning, apple.com still showed a ship date of November 4 for all models in both space gray and silver. That’s great news for a product that is expected to be a hot seller this holiday season.
As we reported previously, supply is so healthy that Apple is allowing customers to order the device online and pick it up at an Apple store starting at 12 p.m. local time Friday.
The Economic Times reported that when the device became available in Australia, there were several hundred people pouring into the store. In Singapore, sales were reported as muted compared to last year. Nobody expected lines outside of Apple stores that rival those of an iPhone launch but investors and analysts will be anxious to hear preliminary sales figures and how they compared with those of the fourth generation iPad launch.
However, the problems continue for the upcoming iPad mini. A Japanese website (via CNET) reported that production yields are so bad that Apple may tap rival Samsung (OTC: SSNLF) to manufacture the high-resolution 7.9 inch Retina panels. Samsung is one of a few companies around the world capable of manufacturing these highly technical displays.
Currently, LG Display is the primary manufacturer with Sharp as the secondary. The report blamed Sharp, responsible for about 40 percent of all panel orders for the supply constraint but neither supplier is close to full production.
This has reportedly prompted Apple to call on Samsung for an unknown amount of panels. But don’t expect this move (if it’s true) to solve the holiday availability issue. These panels aren’t expected to arrive until sometime next year.
Due to these constraints, rumors are swirling that Apple may delay the launch of the iPad mini until sometime next year. While none of these reports are confirmed or even widespread enough to be believable, if supply constraints are as bad as reports indicate, Apple may have no other choice.
Disclosure: At the time of this writing, Tim Parker was long Apple.
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