Apple doubles display orders for iPad Mini

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Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) is asking suppliers to ship more than 12 million display panels for its iPad Mini in the fourth quarter, more than double the number of Minis Apple expected to sell in all of 2012, according to market research firm NPD DisplaySearch.

This fourth quarter spike compares to only 1.6 million iPad Mini panels shipped in third quarter. Of course, this could be attributed to the fact that the Mini was not available until late October of this year.

Many analysts criticized Apple for the high price of its iPad Mini--$329--for the 7-inch tablet segment, which also includes the lower priced Amazon (NASDAQ: AMZN) Kindle Fire, Google (NASDAQ: GOOG) Nexus, ASUS, and private label tablets, noted David Hsieh, vice president for the greater China market at DisplaySearch.

"In 2013, it is likely that Apple will adjust its product portfolio to meet the strong demand for the iPad Mini. We believe that Apple is targeting total iPad shipments of 100 million in 2013, half accounted for by the iPad Mini, and 40 million new iPads and 10 million iPad 2s, as production continues at least until the middle of 2013," Hsieh wrote in a blog.

If Apple hits its targets, it will continue its domination at approximately 60 percent tablet market share, according to DisplaySearch stats.

"If the iPad mini volume is anything near 50 million units, Apple will need to find other panel suppliers in addition to AUO and LG Display, just as it always has three suppliers for the iPad panels. Leading candidates include Century in China, Innolux in Taiwan, as well as Panasonic LCD in Japan, which are all experienced at IPS technologies. At the same time, Apple will need to manage its iPad panel supply in the event that it parts ways with Samsung," Hsieh concluded.

For more:
- see Hsieh's blog
- see Apple's iPad Mini release

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