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New iPad Mini Could Be in Short Supply for Holidays Due to Demand

Image: New iPad Mini Could Be in Short Supply for Holidays Due to Demand

By Clyde Hughes   |   Monday, 04 Nov 2013 09:58 AM

The iPad Mini will be in short supply this holiday season, with industry insiders predicting long waiting lists for the device and huge order backlogs, according to a report last month.

IHS iSuppli Marketing Research reported in a Oct. 24 news release that there will be less than 4 million units of the iPad Mini with retina display available in the fourth quarter and that the number could drop below 3 million. 

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"This would represent as little as one-third of the 8.9 million unit volume of the first-generation iPad mini shipments during the final three months of 2012," the release said. "Actual demand for the original mini was well above the 8.9 million figure, leaving Apple with a huge backlog of orders for the mini at the start of 2013.

"With demand for the new mini in the fourth quarter expected to equal or exceed the nearly 9 million units of its predecessor model, supply and demand will be severely out of balance," the statement added.

Apple has not announced a release date for the new iPad, but that could be because of its supply chain.

"The company has good reason to be coy about the exact release date, given that supply of the new mini is going to be ridiculously tight in the fourth quarter," wrote Rhoda Alexander, director of tablet research at IHS. "The heart of the problem is supply constraints on the new Retina panel."

Customers eager for the new iPad may have to rush to get it, said Devin Coldeway of NBC News.

"Check with your local Apple store regularly once the Mini goes on sale, and if they have any in stock, jump in the car and go grab one," Coldeway wrote. "And don't forget that other stores, like Wal-Mart and Target, also carry the devices, so while there may be none online or at Apple retail, a few could still be around for the finding."

Tech Crunch said in October that consumers should expect Apple to move ahead with November sales regardless of supply challenges. 

"Stock outages are a given, and people will likely have to line up or order far in advance in order to secure them."

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