With aggressive promotions by retailers, iPad sales during the year-end shopping season have grown strongly. Promotions - such as Best Buy's US$100 price cut for iPad 2, Walmart's and Target's US$100 gift cards coming with purchases of the iPad Air or the iPad mini - helped the iPad series tablets become the best selling products among major retailers on Black Friday. The iPads reportedly even accounted for 18% of Target's total sales revenues for that day.
The iPad mini with Retina was not widely available in the retail channel because of panel supply issues; however, the issues are being resolved gradually, Digitimes Research believes.
LG Display is the major panel supplier for the iPad mini with Retina. The Korea-based maker's a-Si process initially had low yield rates for the device's ultra-thin high-definition panels due to light leakage problems, and shipments for the iPad mini with Retina were hampered. However, the problems reportedly have already been resolved recently, and Sharp and Samsung have also joined the panel supply chain for the device. Therefore Digitimes Research believes iPad mini with Retina shipments will likely rise to four million units in the fourth quarter of 2013, up by 1-1.5 million from the original forecast.
In the first quarter of 2014, the device's shipments are expected to reach 5-6 million units, boosted by demand from Asia during the Lunar New Year holidays.