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Report: iPad mini faces production delays

October 7, 2012 10:56am
The iPad mini, Apple Inc.’s purported answer to smaller but popular tablets from rivals like Amazon and Google, may be facing production delays in Asia, a Taiwan-based tech site reported.

DigiTimes cited sources in Apple’s supply chain in Taiwan who hinted at low yield rates at chassis makers. It said the sources indicated at least three firms are producing the chassis.

Quoting its sources, DigiTimes said the iPad mini will come in native- and black-colored aluminum chassis, which are more vulnerable to scratching. The sources added the anodized finish process on the black cases is more critical, “which often results in lower yield rates.”

It said case makers Foxconn Electronics, Catcher Technology and Ri-Teng Computer Accessory are responsible for production of the iPad mini chassis. R-Teng is an associate company of Pegatron.

DigiTimes said Catcher declined to comment on market reports, but said its capacity utilization rates as well as yield rates for various products “all meet its product roadmap.”

Meanwhile, DigiTimes cited a Chinese-language Commercial Times report indicating Barclays Capital has recommended investors in Taiwan take up shares of Foxconn and Pegatron, the two manufacturers for the iPad mini.

It said Barclays also suggested the buying of other iPad mini-connected stocks, including TPK Holdings and Largan Precision.

“Foxconn, the sole maker for the previous iPad lineup, reportedly has landed over 50 percent of the first wave of iPad mini orders, while Pegatron will handle the rest of the orders, revealed the sources,” DigiTimes said.

Complex components

A separate article on PC Magazine said an analyst speculated another reason for the delay of the iPad mini may be complex components.

It cited Topeka Capital Markets analyst Brian White who said his team “sensed that suppliers have found the specs around Apple’s 7.85-inch ‘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,” PC Mag quoted him as saying in a note to investors. — LBG, GMA News
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