Apple Will Have Few iMacs and iPad minis to Sell Until Q1 2013

Taiwanese industry sources say display yield rates are to blame

Sources close to Apple’s supply chain in Taiwan are reporting that display manufacturers will have to wait until the first fiscal quarter of 2013 to see any major profits from deals struck with the Cupertino giant.

The reason? Display manufacturing.

According to DigiTimes citing the usual industry sources, “Mass production of panels used in the iPad mini has reportedly suffered low yield rates, and backlight module providers have also had a shortage of supplies, which is affecting the amount of iPad minis that can be shipped in 2012.”

Specifically, the sources pinpointed AU Optronics (AUO) and LG Display (LGD) as the sole providers of panels for the iPad mini.

Recent industry chatter indicates that Samsung is out because of its ongoing patent litigation with Apple Inc.

AU Optronics is having issues with mass production of the panels, which “has caused the overall shipment proportion of AUO panels used in the iPad mini to drop to about 22%, down from AUO's original 40% target,” the same sources reportedly said.

In the same manner, Apple will see iMac shortages too. The new models unveiled in October use advanced display technologies which LGD reportedly isn’t handling very well.

“The [display] company has had to develop a new production process for mass producing the iMac panels and has limited capacity, which is delaying shipments,” according to the Taiwanese site.

Nonetheless, Apple will reach its shipment targets in the first fiscal quarter of next year, the sources said, at which point the panel suppliers will see their profits boosted as well.

Around that time the panel makers are also expected to increase their yield rates.

Apple this week issued an official announcement confirming that shipments of its new late-2012 iMacs would begin this Friday, November 30. Only the 21.5-inch models will be available this month, pushing shipments of 27-inch iMacs to December.

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