As far as pet names for new devices go, Mini the Cannibal is pretty apt for Apple’s new iPad Mini. The name has been coined as a pretty obvious hint at the fact the new mini-tablet is expected to have been gobbling up sales of the existing iPad tablet range ever since its release date – a habit it isn’t likely to break in the near future.
Citi have undertaken a survey of Apple stores in the last few days and the data obtained makes for interesting reading. It demonstrates that whilst availability of the new iPad Mini is quite high (around 80%), this is not showing the true lack of availability consumers are experiencing, with nigh on all of the stores contacted saying there were issues with availability in relation to size, colour etc.
The one model that did seem to be more or less available across the board was the 32GB version. When this is compared to the iPad 4, availability was cited at just under 100%. Something of a significant difference to say the least.
Glen Yeung, an analyst for Citi was quoted as stating in an investors note “While not explicitly asked, it is clear in our survey that iPad 4 is not selling well, cannibalised by Mini sales”.
The number of the iPad Minis that were manufactured in the recent quarter also dwarfs the number of iPads of all models. It seems Apple may have been aware this may occur. Availability of the iPad Mini is also thought to have been reduced as a direct result of manufacturing problems. Stories abound that one of Apple’s suppliers, AU Optronics, had some ‘issues’, possibly related to a high rate of defects being experienced and as a result Apple requested delivery be stopped.
This is of course a claim that AU Optronics strongly denies although it is widely recognised that the much thinner panels, transistors and filters do pose additional problems for manufacturers. Despite all this it is thought these issues will be sorted out in the next few weeks.