Apple inventory snapshot suggests new MacBook Pros imminent, non-Retina iPad mini may live on
A near last minute snapshot of Apple's indirect channel inventory ahead of Tuesday's media event supports expectations of new Retina MacBook Pros, 9.7-inch fifth-gen iPads, and a redesigned Mac Pro, but shows surprisingly large stock of Apple TV and the most popular iPad minis.
An overview of the inventory data has been summarized in the table below. It should be noted that the data behind the chart comes from one of Apple's indirect channels that support big-box retailers and resellers, and not those channels that serve the company own online and retails stores. It therefore should b.e used only to supplement existing information surrounding the company's upcoming product launches on Oct 22, as it does not offer conclusive evidence in all cases.
For instance, while the data from the channel — and AppleInsider's own Mac Price Guide — clearly points to revised 13- and 15-inch Retina MacBook Pros, new 9.7-inch iPad Retinas, and near term availability of the Mac Pro, it paints a less definitive picture of plans for the iPad mini and Apple TV product lines.
According to one person familiar with the data, inventory levels of Apple's $329 16-gigabyte iPad mini Wi-Fi and $429 32-gigabyte iPad mini Wi-Fi remain "shockingly" high, with the remainder of the existing iPad mini line being in average-to-constrained supply. This could suggest that Apple may be planning to keep at least some of the non-Retina iPad mini models on the market at a lower price point than the new Retina iPad minis the company is widely expected to introduce on Tuesday.
Alternatively, Apple may have just recently dumped its remain inventory of iPad minis from its direct channels into its indirect channels ahead of next week's introductions, a practice that is not uncommon for the Cupertino-based company when it needs to clear out its channel for new stock.
Similarly, those familiar with the matter added that inventory of Apple's current Apple TV model is "the highest its been in months."