updated 11:16 am EST, Fri February 7, 2014
Retina, non-Retina iPad minis close in shipments
Apple appears to have ordered somewhere over 30 million iPad display panels during the holiday quarter that ended in December, according to new research data by WitsView. The company only sold 27 million iPads to the public, suggesting that remaining quantities -- actually closer to 4 million -- went into channel inventory. The bulk of the panels, 17 million, are believed to have gone towards building 9.7-inch iPads. WitsView doesn't distinguish between iPad Air and iPad 2 panels, but the latter are likely marginal.
More unusual is the split between Retina- and non-Retina iPad minis. About 6 million panels are said to have been produced for the non-Retina Mini, versus 7.49 million for the Retina model. Demand for the non-Retina hardware may be relatively high, since the product is the cheapest iPad available, starting at $299. Upgrading to the Retina model -- which also has a faster processor -- costs $100 extra.
WitsView is predicting that in the second quarter of 2014, iPad display orders will slot in at 25.8 million. Split up, that's expected to include 14-million 9.7-inch panels, 7.4 million Retina Mini panels, and a reduced amount of non-Retina Mini parts, just 4.4 million.