I waited too long to order my iPhone 5, and now it won’t be here until November. It’s going to be a rough October. Several reports have pointed to Apple’s failure to order enough units to meet the high demand, causing a delay in shipments by as much as three to four weeks, according to the Apple website. As a result, analysts are forecasting lower iPhone sales this quarter than previously expected, given the iPhone 5 launch. Way to drop the ball, Apple.
Maybe that’s why Apple is rumored to be stocking up on iPad Minis. The Wall Street Journal reported Monday that Apple has ordered 10 million units of the fun-sized version of its iPad tablet, affectionately dubbed the iPad Mini by the media. The news comes from unnamed Apple suppliers in Taipei, who say that the order has been placed for the fourth quarter of this year. That falls in line with reports that Apple plans to hold a separate iPad Mini event in October.
WSJ’s sources also noted—interestingly enough—that while Apple ordered 10 million units, Amazon’s Q4 order of Kindle Fires was only about half that. So Apple is gearing up for sky-high demand. I’m sure I’m not alone in wishing that Apple had put that kind of planning into the iPhone 5…
But if the iPad Mini is real, it’s on track to be a best seller. The device is rumored to be 7.85 inches (the current iPad is 9.5 inches) and is expected to retail for $200-$300, which will give the Kindle Fire, Nook Tablet, and Nexus 7 a run for their money. Up until this point, Apple’s main tablet competitors have really been thriving on the promise of a cheaper alternative to the iPad—rather than a better tablet. So it stands to reason that if the cheaper alternative to the iPad is…an iPad, then Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Google can expect a massive drop in tablet sales.
This may be why Amazon went on the offensive at the most recent Kindle Fire HD unveiling by actually comparing it with the iPad and noting that the Kindle Fire is now 40% faster than the iPad (due to having two antennas [antennae?] instead of one).
Apple currently accounts for 68% of all tablet sales worldwide and the 91% of all Web traffic on tablets comes from the iPad. Studies have found that while the Kindle Fire has become a major competitor to the iPad, its share of Web traffic is virtually non-existent.
IDC estimates that 107.4 million tablets will be sold in 2012. That number is expected to more than double to 222.1 million in 2016.
Apple could not be reached for comment.
Image source: gawkerassets.com