Digitimes’ Siu Han and Joseph Tsai report that volume production of a new-generation 9.7-inch iPad will begin in July-August with shipments in the third quarter estimated at five million units. Meanwhile, Han and Tsai say a second-generation iPad mini may see its volume production postponed from September to November, according to their sources at Taiwan-based supply chain makers.
The sources tell them that the next-generation 9.7-inch iPad is expected to adopt a thin-film-type touch panel solution to reduce its weight by 20-30% and adopt a slim bezel design to increase the display area, and that its industrial design reportedly will also be modified, and predict that with the addition of the next-generation iPad, Apple’s 9.7-inch iPad shipments are expected to total at around eight million units in the third quarter and have a chance to rise further in the fourth due to seasonality.
As for the second-generation iPad mini, Han and Tsai report that some market watchers believe the delay is due to 9.7-inch iPad sales having been seriously impacted by iPad mini in 2012, and so to avoid a repeat scenario, Apple has turned its product focus for 2013 on the new 9.7-inch iPad. Others however, attribute the delay to the supply chain’s being unable to meet Apple’s mass-production schedule.
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