According to Digitimes, the hit or miss publication reports sources in the Taiwan supply chain note the the Retina iPad mini could be be in low supply at launch due to low yield rates of Retina panels from Apple supplier, Sharp:
The availability of the iPad mini with Retina display may not be enough to meet market demand because Sharp’s supply of 7.9-inch Retina display panels based on its Oxide TFT process is seeing low yield rates, according to sources with Taiwan’s supply chain.
Sources went on to note LG Display is another supplier of the Retina iPad mini display, accounting for 60% of panels, while Sharp with the remaining 40%. AU Optronics and Innolux tried to get the contract with Apple for Retina iPad mini but failed, according to sources.
Last November AU Optronics was rumoured to supply the Retina display for the iPad mini, but further reports from this summer noted the supplier had fallen from Apple’s grace due to its production issues. The company supplied panels for the original iPad mini.
As for the iPad Air, LGD supplies 60% of 9.7-inch Retina panels, while the remainder of displays are from Samsung Display.
During yesterday’s 2013 Q4 live earnings call, Apple CEO Tim Cook mentioned Retina iPad mini supplies could be constrained at launch, despite saying “I think it’s going to be an iPad Christmas.” The Retina iPad mini is set to launch in “November”, while the iPad Air launches on November 1.