Once again rumors abound as to whether Apple will be able to introduce the iPad mini 2 in volume for the holiday season. Reuters who regularly runs negative Apple news, is now claiming that their sources are saying that the iPad mini 2 will only be available in limited quantities for the holiday season. Reuters pointed to one possible reason for the production problems being that there were "delays in Apple's certification of panel producers, which were given strict power-saving requirements." Apple's hot iPad mini 2 with a Retina Display has garnered a lot of press over the year that has focused on manufacturing problems. Our report gives you a run down on the issues and specifically to those surrounding Apple's focus on power-savings.
There's been a lot of speculation about the iPad mini starting in late 2012 regarding production of the iPad mini-2 in 2013 and when or if to introduce a Retina Display.
In late December 2012 Apple brought on Pegatron to expand iPad mini production due to upgrading the mini with a Retina Display. On July 19 we learned that LG was making headway in producing 2 to 3 million Retina Displays for the iPad mini for Q4.
Then on July 23 we reported on a new twist regarding the iPad mini 2. At that time we noted that "Oxide semiconductor LCD has an advantage of saving electricity. Apple plans to apply oxide semiconductor LCD to iPad mini 2 despite the initial low production yield, because it gives the advantage of saving electricity."
Considering that a Retina Display for the iPad 2 would draw more power, it makes sense that Apple is focused on a move to counter this drawback. This is something that could accelerate in 2014 as we learned today that Sharp is making more advances in lowering power consumption of their IGZO displays. This would confirm another July report that stated that Apple was going to make a huge shift to IGZO based displays in 2014 specifically for the reason on being able to reduce power consumption.
On July 24 we learned that Apple was still debating a move to oxide TFT or LTPS backplane technology for the iPad mini 2.
Then Apple threw in a surprise with their launch of the iPhone 5S by introducing their new Touch ID home button security feature. That gave way to a rumor on September 27 that the iPad mini 2 would sport the new Touch ID button. Yet on September 13 we learned that production yields were very low for the iPhone's fingerprint scanner.
At this point in time, it's unclear whether the alleged rumors of lower volume for the iPad mini 2 are even true. We learned back in July that LG was on target with volume production of the iPad mini 2. So unless there's been some strange twist on this front, the rumors seem unwarranted.
On the other hand, if Apple is indeed pushing for the iPad mini 2 to include the Touch ID Home Button for the holiday season, the manufacturing delays may be due to this feature which has caused Apple some initial problems with the iPhone 5S.
For now, the rumors of the iPad mini 2 having production problems due to Apple's certification of panel producers appears to be a very weak argument at this stage of the game. If there are indeed delays, then it's likely due to other reasons. Then again, we know that Android vendor's fear Apple's iPad mini-2 strategy and so today's negative rumor may very well have another source behind it altogether.