The iPad Mini 2 with high-resolution Retina display panel is well positioned to attract as many as five million buys in the December 2013 quarter, a new report said, stressing too that the device's release date will surely come over the next few weeks.
The likelihood is, Apple will intro both the slimmed down iPad 5 and the upgraded Mini 2 on Oct 22 as advertised but it is the former that will be rolled out, according to Jefferies analyst Peter Misek.
Mr Misek echoed the earlier projections of other market watchers that volume production of the second iPad Mini is being hampered by a number of issues - first the scaling down of the Retina screen, which was first used with the original iPad and posed challenges to Apple's Asian manufacturers.
Then the Touch ID fingerprint scanner that was introduced via the iPhone 5S. Reports have been suggesting that the new feature eventually become an iOS 7 standard.
The earliest that the Mini 2 is hitting the global market is late November this year, Mr Misek hinted as reported by financial blog site Barron's. This is better, he added, as other analysts seem resigned to the fact that the smaller and more popular iPad will only appear beginning in January 2014.
"Our checks indicate that the mini Retina is having production issues but think Apple is more likely to launch in CQ4 with fewer units than delay it to CQ1," the same Barron's report quoted the analyst as saying.
While the move seemed to appear as 'rushed and forced' on Apple's part, it is likely that the tech giant will rack up a total of 27 million iPad buys in closing down the current year and five million of the overall sales will be contributed by the Retina-laced iPad Mini, Mr Misek said.
The 5-million mark, he warned, is tops as "we think initial launch supplies could be constrained to as few units as two to five million."
But one good thing going for Apple is that "we expect a Retina Display iPad Mini to be introduced at $329," thus prompting buyers to scoop up the device in big numbers.
On the strength of its iPhone 5s and the two iPads thrust, Apple is all prepped to stuff some $52 billion in revenues to its account for Q4 2013, further shoring up the company's already solid cash reserves of $149 billion.
As mentioned, release date of the iPad Mini 2 is between late November and early December 2013 or some few weeks after the confirmed Oct 22 Apple special event.
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