Apple has reportedly cut its shipments of the iPad mini to between 10-12 million units for the second quarter of 2013, according to DigiTimes. The figure is based on shipment information given from multiple sources who provide various components for Apple’s iPad mini.
The decrease may be as high as 20% monthly during April, the sources noted, and may continue to slightly decrease throughout the quarter to bring total shipments of the iPad mini to as low as 10 million units during the quarter.
The iPad Mini has been a hot seller. Together with the iPhone 5, the Mini awarded Apple with a 20.3 percent share of all connected devices in the fourth quarter and a 30.7 percent share of all revenue for such devices, IDC said this week. The iPad Mini has even grabbed sales from the fourth-gen iPad, say many analysts.
DigiTimes’ sources further claim that Apple recently adjusted this year’s shipment estimates for the iPad and iPad Mini: 33 million for iPad and 55 million for iPad mini.
If the reports are true, why would Apple cut shipments of its most popular tablet? Here are two possible explanations from sources:
Apple could be preparing for the next-generation iPad Mini launch in the third quarter. In January, KGI Securites analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, who’s usually on the money, projected a third-quarter release for both the iPad Mini 2 and the iPad 5. Companies typically cut shipments of an existing product in advance of a new model. However, the sources also noted that Apple’s cut is because of increased competition from various 7-inch Android tablets.
The reported drop in iPad Mini shipments could easily be a combination of both factors. Or it could simply be business as usual, assuming the drop isn’t too severe.
Apple has faced questions in the past over cuts in shipments and component orders. In a January conference call about Apple’s fiscal first-quarter results, CEO Tim Cook challenged the accuracy of supply chain rumors, saying that Apple has “multiple sources” for product components.
“Yields can vary, supplier performance can vary,” Cook said, according to MacRumors. “There is an inordinate long list of things that can make any single data point not a great proxy for what is going on.”
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