Apple originally aims to put on the market a total of 6 million iPad minis in 2012. However, Apple has now ordered over 12 million iPad mini units due to scarcity of supply against the high demand of the device.
A pre-order of the iPad mini was offered at the end of October but then the Apple device encountered shortage issues which caused the "no stock available" scenario for two weeks.
According to the web site DispalySearch's quarterly shipment forecast report, Apple needs to increase the iPad mini supply in order to meet its high demand in the fourth quarter of this year.
"The iPad mini immediately faced supply shortages for its 7.85in XGA display, supplied by AUO and LG Display. In 2013, it is likely that Apple will adjust its production portfolio to meet the strong demand for the iPad mini," NPD DisplaySearch analyst David Hsieh stated.
"We believe that Apple is targeting total iPad shipments of 100 million in 2013, half accounted for by the iPad mini, and 40 million new iPad and 10 million iPad 2, as production continues at least until the middle of 2013," Hsieh further added.
Fortunately this month, the iPad mini shipping times have already improved since the panel suppliers' production problems have been resolved. In analyst David Hsieh's explanation, the iPad panels are difficult to construct resulting to a lengthy process time and lower yield rates.
"iPad minis are known to be hard to make, not only because of the high resolution and low power consumption requirements but also because the wide viewing angle and color saturation specifications require additional photomask steps in the manufacturing process," Hsieh said.
For 2013, David Hsieh predicted that Apple may possibly rule with an approximately 60% of the table market. The total number of tablet PCs shipping is also projected to exceed 170 million units.
"If the iPad mini volume is anything near 50 million units, Apple will need to find other panel suppliers in addition to AUO and LG Display," Hsieh declared.
The analyst recommended some potential panel suppliers such as Century in China, Innolux in Taiwan and Panasonic LCD in Japan.