Apple is rumoured to be hosting an "iPad mini" event later this month, but one analyst today speculated that the new device includes complex components that have delayed the smaller tablet for several months.
In a meeting with technology suppliers in Taipei today, Topeka Capital Markets analyst Brian White said his team "sensed that suppliers have found the specs around Apple's 7.85in 'iPad Mini' to be a challenge and yields have been frustrating."
"In our view, this is the reason the 'iPad Mini' is 4-6 weeks behind our original launch expectation that we discussed in June," he wrote in a note to investors.
These suppliers are confident they can produce an "acceptable" number of iPad mini devices in the next month. "That said, we believe that supply constraints will initially hold back the full sales potential during the first month or so of the launch," White said.
White did not go into detail about which components were causing suppliers the most trouble, and this could, of course, be a way for the firm to cover itself since earlier predictions did not come true. But the iPhone 5 includes a display with in-cell technology, which allows the touch screen and main display to reside on one, smaller piece of hardware. In-cell displays, however, are reportedly more difficult to make than traditional smartphone displays, which apparently caused some delays in shipments.
It remains to be seen if the fabled iPad mini will include a similar screen.
Yesterday, there were reports that the iPad mini is now in production.
White also echoed a recent report from IHS iSuppli that said demand for ultrabooks is not as high as industry insiders expected. He also found that the Windows 8 tablet ramp is "more muted" than in months past, which could be related to Microsoft's Surface tablet.
"We were also told that the Microsoft Surface initiative has delayed launch plans by OEMs in the tablet market," White wrote. "Essentially, the enthusiasm around the upcoming Windows 8 launch has weakened meaningfully since the Computex Show in June and this could prove troublesome for Microsoft. As such, suppliers are now pointing to 2013 as the year that the ultrabook ramp kicks in."