updated 09:34 am EDT, Tue June 4, 2013
Could represent attempt to keep fifth-gen iPad sales higher
Mass production of a fifth-generation iPad should start in July or August -- ahead of a launch in the same quarter -- but production of a second-gen iPad mini has been delayed a month to November, say DigiTimes sources. The reason for the delay is unknown, but it's speculated that Apple may be staggering the launch of the Mini so it has less of an impact on full-sized iPad sales. Alternately, suppliers may simply be unable to cope with starting Mini production in October.
A problem with starting Mini production in November, though, would be that Apple would likely deprive itself of holiday sales, since it would only have limited units at best by Black Friday, if it wasn't forced to ship in December or January instead. It would also affect the number of iPads forecast to ship by the end of 2013, which is anywhere between 80 to 100 million units.
On the matter of the fifth-gen iPad, DigiTimes supports the view that the tablet will have thinner bezels and slim down as a whole, taking cues from the Mini. Shipments are predicted to hit 5 million units by the end of September.