Reports claimed that many consumers are frustrated with the delay of Apple's upcoming tablets - iPad 5 and iPad Mini 2. Will the delay be a blessing or a curse for Apple's sales?
The delay is worsened by the depleting supply of previous iPad models in retailers. Although Apple.com still offers the previous iPads, the supply situation in retailers are getting direr by the week.
Apple's CEO Tim Cook recently confirmed that no new Apple products will be released before fall 2013. However, the sudden disappearance of previous iPads tells consumers otherwise.
The iPad with Retina Display and iPad Mini suddenly disappeared in some retailers. One major retailer is now sold out of about half its iPad 4 configurations, with the iPad mini vanishing nearly as swiftly. Another is doing better but is also gradually marking more current iPad models as "out of stock" as the month goes on.
Early this month, several websites reported that Apple and retailers offered great discounts on the current iPad models. According to rumours, almost 30 percent being slashed off the price of iPad's and iPad mini's, the clearance sale by the retail giants on tablet's third anniversary is a clear cut indication that Apple is all set to hit the market with a new and updated iPad for the customers.
The price cuts hinted at a move by Apple to clear out inventory ahead of the iPad 5 and iPad Mini 2 launch, and the subsequent sell-outs of those same models all but confirm it. If the price cuts had merely been to catch up on inventory of laggard selling models, they would not have sold out. This means Apple's authorized price cuts were meant to clear out the inventory of retiring the iPad 4 in favor of newly introduced models.
According to reports, iPad Mini 2 will feature a screen with a resolution of 2048 x 1536. This is almost four times the resolution of the present iPad Mini and is equal to the fourth generation iPad which was released along with the iPad Mini last year. AU Optronics has been rumoured to be making displays for the iPad Mini 2.
Other specs include a more powerful dual core A7 processor and a 7.9 inch screen. It will also feature a 10-hour battery life, a FaceTime HD camera, and an iSight camera with 1080 pixels HD video recording. Apple is also trying to reduce the thickness of the iPad Mini 2 by using the Sharp's IGZO (indium gallium zinc oxide) technology in its screens.
The iPad 5, on the other hand, is rumoured to have no bezels, and the whole form factor has been made sleeker. Horowitz believes this design indicates that Apple will be calling on Sharp's IGZO screen technology. Sharp, however, according to Horowitz, has been struggling, and its ability to deliver components on time will play a key role in the release of the next iPad.
However, the Cupertino-based company remained tight-lipped on the rumours and on its plans for this year.