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iPad 5 rumor rollup for the week ending Oct. 1

John Cox | Oct. 3, 2013
Smaller Apple iPad, bigger iPad, mini 2 delays, and date debate.

What's the reason that the iPad mini 2 will not be widely rolled out? Reuters again: "Apple's supply chain is only now gearing up to make retina displays for the iPad Mini, which means the gadgets could be available in only limited quantities this year, if at all, and the company may miss the chance to cash in on the year-end holiday shopping season, the sources said."

But Reuters' anonymous supply chain sources are emphatically vague about why production is gearing up now. Neither the reporters nor the sources can say whether this schedule reflects problems with iPad mini 2 or Apple's original timing for it. "The reason behind the delays in manufacturing the retina display screens for the iPad Mini were unclear," Reuters says. "One source at a supplier said there were delays in Apple's certification of panel producers, which were given strict power-saving requirements."

To The Rollup, that sounds like Apple is demanding display makers toe the line in terms of power efficiency to optimize battery life.

"Given the time required to ramp up screen production, a retina display-equipped iPad Mini would not be available in large volumes until early next year, the sources said," according to Reuters. "The sources expected Apple to either wait until early next year for a full-fledged launch of a retina display iPad Mini, or to make a retina version only available in limited quantities before the end of the year.

Without knowing more of the display panel supply chain, those conjectures remain nothing more than, well, conjecture. Apple's new iPhones and iPads have sometimes been in short supply during the first weeks of availability, with shipment delays stretching out to a few weeks. But, again, that's different from a product announcement or release date being delayed.

In a CNET post, Brooke Crothers suggests, based on a technology analyst's assessment, that iPad mini 2 is simply on a different production schedule than the iPad 5.

"While Apple's iPad 5 looks to be on schedule for an October release, that's not the case for the Retina version of the Mini, according to Rhoda Alexander, director of Tablet and Monitor Research at IHS iSuppli," Crothers writes. "'The Retina Mini looks less certain for that time. Manufacturing volumes on that would match better with a Q114 [first quarter 2014] launch,' she told CNET."

Significantly, Crothers adds that Alexander "quickly qualified that saying, But given that it's Apple, one never knows.'"

Which is another of saying that "no one really knows what Apple's plan for the Next iPads actually is."

iPad 5, iPad mini 2 will be announced Oct. 15
Josh Smith at GottaBeMobile has GottaBeBored.


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