The supposed second Mini 2 debut was bared by an order page from Target.com, which included the definite release date along with the iOS 7 tablet's product description. The scoop, according to CNET, was first picked up by Apple-centric site MacRumors.
Noting that the launch date set by U.S. retail giant Target is a Thursday, the report indicated that the timing makes a lot of sense as Apple normally pushes out its latest devices on Fridays.
And if the tech giant really wants to heap giant sales numbers on the account of the new iPad Mini, issuing it a few days before the much-awaited Black Friday sales galore is definitely a huge boost.
Apple, however, is silent on the matter. In introducing the upgraded iOS compact tablet last week, Apple CEO Tim Cook merely flagged a vague time frame for the slate's actual rollout, saying it will hit store shelves later in November 2013.
Yet a new report from Taiwan's DigiTimes suggest that wait could be a little longer, probably way into December. Production is being blamed for the delay as one of Apple's iPad Mini contractors, Sharp Display, is reportedly grappling with Retina production issues.
"The availability of the iPad mini with Retina display may not be enough to meet market demand because Sharp's supply of 7.9-inch Retina display panels based on its Oxide TFT process is seeing low yield rates," said the Asian publication on its report.
To put into perspective how the Sharp production problems would impact on the Mini 2's global distribution, DigiTimes noted that Apple had awarded some 40 per cent of its iPad Mini display panel requirements to the Japanese company.
In light of the brewing supply shortage despite the Mini 2's seemingly confirmed Nov availability, some experts if it is prudent for consumers to hold out for the smaller iOS 7 tablet or get instead the iPad Air, which comes out this week.
At 9.7-inch, it has a bigger screen but due to major makeover implemented by Apple on its original full-sized tablet, the new build is significantly thinner, lighter and sexier from the first four generations.
In order for tablet shoppers to be guided on what is the best choice between the Retina iPad Mini and the iPad Air, Kevin Purcell of Gotta Be Mobile offered his brief pros and cons below:
§ Book reading - the Mini works best for text-only e-books but to really appreciate graphics like charts, drawings and pictures the Air is the better deal.
§ Magazines - the Air gets the advantage on this considering the size factor of the electronic and glossy publication.
§ Gaming - for gamers, it is a matter of taste. Some would want a bigger screen but for others, a moderate size would suffice.
§ Office work - obviously the Air form-factor delivers a better productivity option, with or without keyboard accessories.
§ Watching videos - same as gaming, preference is the deciding factor in this department. Some would want upsize viewing others would be happy to go a bit smaller for extra portability.
The price for the base model iPad Mini 2 starts at $400 while the iPad Air can be had for $500.
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