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Manufacturing/Packaging??

Insufficient display supply to drag iPad mini shipments

Posted: 29 Oct 2013 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:iPad mini? Retina display? A7? tablet?

The single 4Q13 launch, in contrast to the two-pronged launch strategy of 2012, has created some serious growth challenges for Apple in 2013.

Lacking an iPad launch in March, Apple's tablet unit shipments declined in 2Q13 compared to one year earlier!the first time the company suffered such a decrease for its tablet products. That timing shift also robbed Apple of the momentum that it normally had in what is historically a slow consumer quarter and opened the door to competitors such as Samsung, which launched its 8in Galaxy Note during Q2.

A launch now of the iPad Air!perhaps coupled with the a separate launch of the iPad mini with Retina Display in February or March of 2014, when supply will be more assured!might have set the stage for a return to the two-pronged launch strategy that served Apple so well in 2012.

In addition to potentially providing an extra boost to iPad shipments in 2014, the two-pronged approach could have also allowed Apple to own the product news cycle for much of the year, which provides copious free advertising for the Apple brand.

The 2,048 x 1,536 resolution display on the iPad mini with Retina display!in the same pixel format as that of the iPad Air!costs substantially more than the 1,024 x 768 version in the original mini.

The iPad mini with Retina Display costs $399 for the 16GB model.

By itself, this high resolution is insufficient to justify a selling price for the new mini that is $170 more the than that of the new Google Nexus 7 tablet and the Kindle Fire HDX 7 from Amazon, each priced at $229 for similar pixel density. It is the combination of the Retina Display panel with the new iPad mini's overall product design!including 64bit architecture, durability, ease of operating system upgrades and richness of the Apple ecosystem!that makes the math work. That said, the price point is likely to be a sticking point for value-centric consumers weighing the lure of Apple against the ever-expanding array of Android alternatives.

Apple has dropped the price point of the original mini to $299 to reach some of those users, but that price point still sits well above the market average for 7in products with similar performance.


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