"The response to iPad Air has been incredible, and we're excited for customers to experience the new iPad mini with Retina display," said Phil Schiller, Apple's senior vice president of marketing, in a press release earlier this month, announcing the new iPad mini had gone on sale. "We think customers will love both of these thin, light, powerful new iPads, and we're working hard to get as many as we can in the hands of our customers." That last line, about "working hard to get as many as we can in the hands of our customers" is exceptionally telling.
Apple CEO Timothy D. Cook also mentioned this on the call, but was pretty confident Apple would be able to produce enough units to satisfy demand. "It's unclear whether we will have enough for the quarter or not," Cook said on the call. "We now have mini - we will have but you really don't know the demand until after you start shipping and so we'll see how that goes. But I think we'll do fairly well with iPad as I had mentioned before. We felt like it's going to be a really great holiday season."
Last quarter, Apple sold 14.1 million iPads on its way to generating $6.19 billion in iPad-derived revenue. I wouldn't be shocked to see Apple sell as many as 20 million iPads this quarter, with the first iPad mini being cut to $299, and the lineup now sporting four tablets (iPad 2, iPad Air, iPad mini, iPad mini with Retina Display). What percentage of that is iPad mini with Retina Display is anyone's guess, since Apple doesn't break it down that far.
If you're looking for an iPad mini with Retina Display this holiday season (or as Cook said, "iPad Christmas"), your best bet is to buy it right away. Otherwise, it's likely to be gone before you know it.
--Written by Chris Ciaccia in New York
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