Archive of iPad Mini Rumors

Among "commercial channel" sales to distributors for corporate, government, and business customers, the iPad held the biggest share of sales for any tablet in the U.S. during 2013, while sales of Google Chromebooks made up a bigger percentage of the laptop market compared to Mac notebooks, according to a new report from The NPD Group.

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The data in the report showed that the iPad accounted for 15.8% of personal computing device sales in the channel, which was greater than that of Android tablets at 8.7% and Windows tablets at 2.2%. However, the iPad's share of unit sales in the U.S. this year is down from the year-ago period, where it made up for 17.1% of sales. Sales of both Android tablets and Windows tablets grew by 4.5% and 1.4%, respectively.

Meanwhile, sales of Chromebooks in the United States grew to 9.6% in 2013, surpassing the 1.8% share of unit sales held by Apple notebooks. Windows notebooks still held on to 34.1% of the market, but was down 8.8% from the 42.9% share it held last year.

The news follows a broader report from October stating that Mac sales were down 7% year-over-year for the full September quarter, as the decline of traditional PC sales as a whole is likely due in part to the rising popularity of tablets.

Both the iPad and the MacBook line of notebooks saw refreshes this year, as Apple announced the iPad Air and iPad mini with Retina Display along with updated models of the 13-inch and 15-inch Retina MacBook Pro at its October event. New versions of the 11-inch and 13-inch MacBook Air were also announced at Apple's WWDC keynote this past June, and featured enhanced performance with significantly improved battery life.

Apple could also be gearing up to release new types of both products in 2014. Rumors of a larger-size iPad for release in 2014 have surfaced occasionally throughout the past few months, and a report in October from KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo stated that Apple may be planning to release a 12-inch MacBook with an all-new design in the middle of 2014.
As the holidays approach, Apple's Retina iPad mini supplies have begun to improve, alleviating the supply constraints the product has faced since its quiet November 12 launch.

In the Online Apple Store, Retina iPad mini shipping estimates for all models and capacities, including cellular models, have decreased to 1 to 3 days in the United States, Canada, Mexico, and Asia Pacific. The Retina iPad mini continues to ship within 3 to 5 days in European countries.

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The new shipping estimates are a significant improvement from shipping estimates in late November, which slipped to 5 to 10 days for multiple weeks before improving to 3 to 5 days earlier this week.

Issues with display yields were reportedly behind Apple's supply shortages, and as a result of the constrained supplies, Apple launched the Retina iPad mini in the middle of the night, offering the tablet solely via its online store and through Personal Pickup. It wasn't until 10 days after launch that Apple began allowing walk-in sales of the Retina mini. Cellular models have been the most constrained, with multiple carriers experiencing back orders on cellular Retina iPad minis in November.

Just a few weeks ago, a report suggested Apple had solved its production problems, allowing it to build up some supplies for the holiday shopping season. Along with shorter shipping estimates, in-store supplies of the Retina iPad mini appear to have improved slightly as well, with several colors and capacities available for immediate pickup in quite a few Apple Stores around the country.

According to an unofficial web tracker, supplies of the 16 and 32 GB Wi-Fi models are widely available, while the larger 64 and 128 GB Retina iPad minis and all cellular minis remain in shorter supply.

Apple’s holiday shipping guidelines now suggest that U.S. customers order the non-engraved Retina iPad mini by December 16 for a December 24 delivery with standard shipping.

(Thanks, Leonard!)
retinaminiTablets have proven to be the most popular consumer electronics item on buyers' early holiday shopping lists, with a new research note from Cantor Fitzgerald analyst Brian White citing numbers from the Consumer Electronics Association revealing that 39% of shoppers looking for consumer electronics over the Black Friday weekend were planning to purchase a tablet. Supporting that data, both Walmart and Target highlighted iPads as top sellers on Black Friday.

With Apple's new iPad Air and Retina iPad mini having hit the market in recent weeks, Apple is well-positioned to take advantage of the surge in tablet interest, although the company has been struggling hard to ramp up production on the Retina iPad mini to meet holiday shopping demand. White notes that supplies for Apple's retail stores continue to improve, although 64 GB and 128 GB cellular-capable variants remains in tight supply.
Based on our survey across 38 Apple Retail Stores in the U.S. market, all Wi-Fi only models for both the iPad mini with Retina Display and first-generation iPad mini are readily available. Regarding Wi-Fi + Cellular models for the iPad mini with Retina Display, 64GB and 128GB models have very limited stock, while 16GB models are plentiful. For example, 47% of the Apple Retail Stores that we surveyed sold out the iPad mini with Retina Display 128GB models and 42% sold out 64GB models, while only 29% sold out 32GB models and 3% sold out 16GB models.
The news comes ten days after Apple's retail stores began offering walk-in sales of Retina iPad Mini models, along with a report last week stating that supplies of the tablet are beginning to improve after Apple was reportedly struggling with display yields that limited production.

Overall, in-store availability of Retina iPad mini models has improved markedly for Apple's U.S. retail stores, although availability of Wi-Fi models remains much stronger than for cellular-capable models. Orders placed through Apple's online store are currently being quoted 5-10 business day shipping estimates for all models.
As numerous potential customers have discovered, the Retina iPad mini has been in very short supply since its quiet launch earlier this month, with Apple reportedly struggling with display yields that have limited production.

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Several analysts had previously predicted that Retina iPad mini production would be limited to roughly two million units for the fourth quarter of 2013, but a new report from Digitimes claims that the production issues have been solved and that Apple has forged ahead with orders for four million units for the month of November as the company scrambles to build up its supplies for the holiday shopping season.
As bottlenecks in making components for the iPad mini with Retina have gradually been removed, Apple has increase orders in November to nearly four million units, according to Taiwan-based supply chain makers.

Currently, Apple's orders for the iPad mini with Retina have already surpassed those for the first-generation iPad mini, the sources noted.
In-store availability of Retina iPad mini models has improved markedly for Apple's U.S. retail stores, with the company starting to offer walk-in sales late last week, although availability of Wi-Fi models remains much stronger than for cellular-capable models. Orders placed through Apple's online store are currently being quoted 5-10 business day shipping estimates for all models.
Following a surprise launch last week that saw Apple's retail stores offering the new Retina iPad mini only for Personal Pickup of online orders, the company's U.S. stores have now begun selling the device to walk-in customers. Supplies do, however, remain extremely tight, and thus ordering online for Personal Pickup to secure a specific model is still advised.

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The launch of walk-in sales was noted this morning in a research note from Cantor Fitzgerald analyst Brian White, who indicated that a number of New York City stores received shipments designated for walk-in customers last night and this morning. MacRumors has confirmed that walk-in sales are now being offered in some stores, although one store contacted by MacRumors reported that it was still offering only Personal Pickup options.

Apple has also updated its iPad retail page to simply encourage customers to purchase in-store, rather than specifically noting that they should purchase the Retina iPad mini online for in-store pickup.

The tight supply constraints on Retina iPad mini models mean that Personal Pickup remains unavailable for many models at many stores, with several supply trackers attempting to help customers determine whether their desired models are available in their areas. Online orders through Apple's U.S. online store continue to show 5-10 business day shipping estimates for all models.

Update 10:40 AM: White has issued a new note reporting that 26 out of 32 stores surveyed by his team currently have at least some stock of Retina iPad mini models available for walk-in purchase.
Major U.S. carriers Verizon, AT&T and T-Mobile are still experiencing back orders on the cellular version of the iPad Mini with Retina Display, signaling that the 3G/4G version of the tablet is still experiencing heavy supply constraints, reports CNET. While Apple's online store still shows that cellular Retina iPad minis are available to ship in 5-10 business days, Verizon's page for the device shows that the device will ship by December 2, with T-Mobile and AT&T showing 6-8 week and 21-28 day delivery estimates, respectively. ipadminispacegray
Small amounts of stock of the cellular-capable models of the device began trickling into Apple's U.S. retail stores one day after the device's surprise launch last week, with Apple offering a Personal Pickup option for online orders. However, overall production of the device has been heavily constrained for the time being due to suggested display production issues, with shipments of the tablet likely to double in Q1 2014 as shortages ease.

First announced at Apple's iPad-centric October event, the second-generation iPad mini features a high resolution 2048x1536 display, with 326 pixels per inch, and a 64-bit A7 chip with the M7 motion co-processor. Those interested in purchasing the device can also check out an unofficial web tracker for checking the availability of Retina iPad mini models at Apple's U.S. retail locations. The tracker continues to show low in-store availability, with Sprint and low-capacity Wi-Fi models seeing the best supplies.
Last week, we noted that some Retina iPad mini displays were exhibiting image retention issues, while in general other users were expressing some dissatisfaction with the color gamut of the Retina iPad mini's display, particularly compared to that of the iPad Air.

In an extensive review of the Retina iPad mini, AnandTech came away extremely impressed with the device but cited that color gamut issue as a significant disappointment.
Although display resolution is no longer a concern on the mini, color gamut hasn’t changed between the old and new minis. [...]

The iPad mini with Retina Display has the same color gamut as the standard iPad mini, which is narrower than the iPad Air and less than the sRGB coverage we normally look for. The biggest issue here is that there are other smaller tablets in this price range that do offer sRGB coverage (e.g. Nexus 7, Kindle Fire HDX 8.9).
DisplayMate's Ray Soneira has also taken a look at the Retina iPad mini's display in a "shoot-out" with the Kindle Fire HDX 7 and Google Nexus 7, with the Retina iPad mini's display registering a "distant 3rd place finish". The poor showing is due in large part to the iPad mini's narrow color gamut, which naturally leads to poor color accuracy.
[T]he iPad mini with Retina Display unfortunately comes in with a distant 3rd place finish behind the innovative displays on the Kindle Fire HDX 7 and new Nexus 7 because it still has the same small 63 percent Color Gamut as the original iPad mini and even older iPad 2. That is inexcusable for a current generation premium Tablet. The big differences in Color Gamut between the Kindle Fire HDX 7 and Nexus 7 and the much smaller 63 percent Gamut in the iPad mini Retina Display were quite obvious and easy to see in the side-by-side Viewing Tests. [...] This all appears to be due to incredibly poor planning. Instead of moving up to the higher performance (and cost) Low Temperature Poly Silicon LCDs, Apple chose to continue gambling on IGZO, which has resulted in both production shortages and inferior products.
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Color gamut of Retina iPad mini, Kindle Fire HDX 7, and Nexus 7 (Source: DisplayMate)

Soneira notes that the strong performance by Google/ASUS with the LTPS display in the Nexus 7 and Amazon with its Quantum Dots technology in the Kindle Fire HDX 7 "should be a wakeup call" for Apple, as the company is clearly no longer leading the industry in display quality.

One complicating factor in comparing the 7.9-inch 4:3 Retina iPad mini to the 7-inch 16:10 tablets from Google and Amazon is the fact that the 35% larger display area for the iPad mini would result in substantially higher costs if Apple were to shift to a different display technology such as LTPS. Still, to consumers comparing display quality of various tablets, the iPad mini appears to be a clear notch below its competitors.
Some Retina iPad minis are demonstrating image retention issues, as noted by Instapaper creator Marco Arment, who originally developed a grid test to detect the problem in Retina MacBook Pros.

Image retention was first cited as a potential issue last week, when a rumor suggested that burn-in on Sharp's IGZO panels was causing production delays with the Retina mini's display, leading to significant supply constraints that have resulted in a quiet release for the tablet.

While it is unclear how many Retina iPad minis are affected by the issue, several mini owners on Twitter have discovered the problem after running the grid test. It is not known if the image retention is limited to displays from specific manufacturers, as many Retina iPad minis are not experiencing display problems.

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An example of image retention after running the grid test, via Twitter

Displays with image retention are not a new problem for Apple. The original Retina MacBook Pro displays demonstrated severe image persistence problems, with remnants or previously-displayed windows remaining visible on the screen for several minutes. It is important to note, however, that the image retention is temporary and not permanent like the burn-in seen with some plasma displays.

In normal use cases, it is unlikely that the image retention is noticeable, but Retina iPad mini owners experiencing image retention are still within their return windows. Apple has replaced Retina MacBook Pros experiencing display problems, and it is likely that a similar policy will be adopted for Retina iPad minis with image persistence.

In addition to image retention, some users on the MacRumors forums have also noted that their Retina mini screens are not as vibrant as iPad Air, suggesting the Retina iPad mini may have a smaller color gamut.

Apple's Retina iPad mini is currently available from the Apple Online Store beginning at $399. Orders are currently shipping within 1 to 10 days in the United States depending on capacity and cellular capability, and while Apple has not made the mini widely available in its stores, it is also available in many areas via Personal Pickup.
Another unofficial web tracker for checking the availability of Retina iPad mini models at Apple's U.S. retail locations has surfaced, providing help to those attempting to purchase the supply-constrained device. Obscurely hosted on marine life conservation website Seaturtle.org, the website offers a grid view of inventory checks of each Retina iPad Mini model for every Apple Retail Store in the United States, displaying a green, red, or white box for availability, unavailability, or non-checked information, respectively.

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For model/location combinations that have not recently been checked, users are able to click on the cell content to update the data and check nearby stores. Users can also register for email notifications when specific models become available for pickup at their local stores. Apple launched its Personal Pickup option for the Retina iPad mini earlier this week, with stores seeing quick sellouts of many models. Walk-in sales of the device will apparently not be offered until supplies improve.

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Last week, Apple shut down tracking website Apple-Tracker.com, which was dedicated to monitoring in-store pickup availability of iPhone 5s and iPad Air models, citing a terms of use violation, and a similar fate will likely befall this new tracker as it continues to gain attention.
One day after the surprise launch of the Retina iPad mini, small amounts of stock of the cellular-capable models of the device have begun trickling into Apple's U.S. retail stores. The company has been offering Personal Pickup of online orders since yesterday, but until now that service has been limited to Wi-Fi models.

Model selection is currently very limited and many stores have yet to show any available cellular models, but availability should improve over time as Apple delivers more stock to its stores.

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While Apple retail stores in several other countries did have stocks of the cellular-capable Retina iPad mini at launch yesterday, the company's U.S. stores did not have any available. Online orders for the Retina iPad mini through Apple's U.S. store launched with 1-3 day shipping estimates on 16 and 32 GB Wi-Fi models, with larger-capacity Wi-Fi and all cellular models showing 5-10 day shipping. A number of customers who placed orders for Wi-Fi models have already seen their orders shipping directly from China, with delivery scheduled for early next week.
The experts at iFixit have performed another one of their usual high-quality teardowns on Apple's new iPad mini with Retina display, revealing that while the device is nearly unchanged visually from the original iPad mini, it features a number of internal upgrades such as an A7 chip and M7 motion coprocessor alongside the new high-resolution display.

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Notably, a number of parts in the iPad Mini with Retina Display appears to be very similar to those found in the iPad Air, including similarities in the display driver, M7 coprocessor, NAND flash storage, Wi-Fi module, and audio amplifers between the two devices. However, the Retina iPad Mini appears to be using a different A7 processor than the 1.4 GHz variant found in the iPad Air, with the APL0698 part in the iPad mini matching the 1.3 GHz A7 found in the iPhone 5s rather than the 1.4 GHz APL5698 part seen in the iPad Air. The Retina iPad mini's slightly slower A7 chip was revealed in benchmarks done on the device yesterday.

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The main feature of the device is of course the 2048 x 1536 resolution display, which appears to be manufactured by LG. Apple has been said to be turning to Samsung as a display supplier for the iPad mini due to low yields from LG and Sharp, but it is clear that at least LG is providing some panels for the launch batch. The new iPad mini also carries a significantly larger battery than the 16.3 Whr battery found in previous iPad mini, with the new tablet's battery measured at 24.3 Whr. That extra battery capacity in large part goes toward supporting the new Retina display, with the device offering the same 10-hour battery life as the previous generation.

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As is tradition for iFixit's teardowns, the company has assigned a repairability score to the iPad mini with Retina display based on the accessibility of the various components. As with the iPad Air, the firm rates the Retina iPad mini's repairability at just 2 out of 10, with the firm again assessing positive points for easy LCD accessibility and a non-soldered battery, but the amount of adhesive and hidden screws used to hold the device together make repair extremely difficult.
retinamini Shipments of the supply-constrained iPad mini with Retina display are likely to double in Q1 2014, according to market research firm IHS iSuppli (via CNET) and KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, with both stating that the estimated shipment of 2 million Retina iPad mini tablets in the current quarter will grow to a total shipment of about 4.5 million devices in the first three months of next year.

Rhoda Alexander, director of Tablet and Monitor Research at IHS iSuppli, stated the following about the supply constraints surrounding the tablet:
Rhoda Alexander told CNET on Tuesday that she expects production of about 2 million Mini Retina tablets in the fourth calendar quarter.

"When you think about some of the releases where they sold that many iPads in a weekend," that's not a lot, she said.
Meanwhile, Ming-Chi Kuo stated his estimates for a production boost of the tablet, stating that shipments of the Retina iPad mini will increase due to an improvement in manufacturer yield:
We maintain our iPad mini R shipments forecast of around 2.2mn units for 4Q13. Considering production yield improvement at the supply chain, we forecast shipments will grow 102% QoQ in 1Q14 to 4.5mn units. But marked shipments growth given the low base in 4Q13 can’t make up for overall iPad shipments in 1Q14.
In something of a surprise move, Apple began accepting orders for the Retina iPad mini in the United States and several other countries yesterday, with the device's quiet launch potentially due to constrained supplies. Currently however, availability through Apple's online store appears to be holding up for the time being, with the company's U.S. stores showing the same shipping estimates seen at the time orders went live: 1-3 business days for 16 and 32 GB Wi-Fi models and 5-10 business days for all other models.

Previous rumors have suggested that available quantities of the mini are extremely low due to display production issues, with Apple turning to Samsung to help with production. Apple did also launch its Personal Pickup option for the Retina iPad mini yesterday, with stores seeing quick sellouts of many models. Walk-in sales of the device will apparently not be offered until supplies improve.