Apple is said to have built 4 million second-generation iPad mini with Retina display units in the month of November, already surpassing production levels of the first-generation model, according to a new rumor.
The latest supply chain rumors published on Wednesday by DigiTimes claim that Apple has been able to quickly address component issues for its diminutive touchscreen tablet. As usual, such claims were attributed to unnamed sources in Apple's supply chain in Taiwan.
The report claims that a shortage of 7.9-inch Retina displays was the main issue holding back production of the new iPad mini. Manufacturers are said to have had difficulty packing the same number of pixels into the tiny screen as are already found on the 9.7-inch Retina display in the iPad Air.
Such production issues led Apple to launch the Retina iPad mini in mid-November, with availability occurring on Tuesday, Nov. 12 with no prior indication that the device would become available that day. Initially, Apple required customers to use its "Personal Pickup" feature and did not allow walk-in purchases.
But Apple began accepting walk-in purchases late last week, which was seen as a sign that availability of the new iPad mini is improving. Apple has also begun to launch the device at regional carriers in America such as U.S. Cellular, Bluegrass Cellular and C-Spire Wireless, joining the "big four" providers of AT&T, Verizon, Sprint and T-Mobile.
Apple CEO Tim Cook had previously said it was "unclear" whether the company would have enough stock for the holiday season. Many Apple observers have credited the supply pinch to low yield rates for the iPad mini's Retina display from partners Sharp and LG.