By Binu Paul email: firstname.lastname@example.org | Feb 04, 2013 08:43 AM EST
It seems Apple has accelerated the production of its popular iPad mini faster than expected as it brought down the waiting time for shipment to one-three days from three to five days on its online store. Customers ordering from the U.S. online Apple Store can expect their tablet shipped in one-three business days.
Apple CEO Tim Cook, during his quarterly earnings conference call for the first fiscal quarter of 2013, had acknowledged that suppliers were having trouble meeting demand. "Customers love the Mini and we wish that we could have made more and we ended the quarter with significant backlog," he said. The updated delivery estimates do suggest that supply is slowly catching up to demand.
The improved delivery time meets Cook's estimation of reaching a better supply scenario by the end of the March quarter. "As we indicated last quarter, the iPad Mini gross margin is significantly below the corporate average, and we expect to be able to meet demand for this product in the March quarter, which again we could not in the December quarter," Cook said then.
The supply-demand balance has been reflected in the European market as well. Shipping time for iPad mini has come down to three-five business days where as the lead time was nearly two weeks previously. The shipping time is listed as three-five business days in other worldwide Apple Stores.
The 7.9-inch tablet went on to become a huge hit, bigger than what was expected, causing a severe supply constraint soon after its launch. The shortage lasted throughout the lucrative holiday quarter. The heavy demand for the device was quite evident when the pre-orders went live at the end of October as the White & Silver model was sold out in a matter of hours. Later, the company announced that three million units of iPad mini were sold during the first week of its launch.
Terming iPad as the "mother of all opportunities" Apple boss said he strongly believes that tablet market will be larger than the PC market at some point in the future. Recent reports claimed that iPad mini is outselling iPad 4 by up to 4:1 ratio. It's also rumored that iPad mini sales may hit as high as 11 million units in the first quarter of the year.