Brightwire summarizes a report [Google translation] from Taiwanese news site United Daily News claiming that Apple’s supply chain partners will continue working through the traditional Chinese New Year holiday in order to keep up with demand for the popular iPad mini and iPhone 5. The holiday falls in mid-February in 2013, with many workers traditionally returning to their homes for two weeks or more in celebration.
The report comes as Apple continues to experience tight supplies of the iPad mini in particular, with the company’s online stores around the world generally citing 1-2 week shipping estimates for new orders.
Demand for the iPad mini is also very strong in China, where the device launched on December 7, as highlighted in a new report from Topeka Capital Markets analyst Brian White. White cites “insatiable appetite” for the iPad mini in China and Hong Kong leading to stock shortages, with checks indicating that the iPad mini is more popular than the fourth-generation iPad.
Our research is pointing to very strong demand for the iPad mini in China and this is leading to stock-outs this week. Similar to Hong Kong, we are being told by contacts in China that the iPad mini is already more popular than the fourth generation iPad. Prior to the China launch, we indicated that the iPad mini would be the “next big thing in China” and we believe this phenomenon is starting to develop. In our view, the smaller form factor and lower price point will allow Apple to sell the iPad mini in more meaningful volumes versus the regular-size iPad.
The report suggests that Apple is beginning to achieve some balance on the iPhone 5 in China, with walk-in purchases now starting to become more widely available two weeks after the device’s debut. Evidence of the Apple catching up with iPhone 5 demand in the first waves of launch countries appeared earlier this month with the company’s online stores shifting to immediate “in stock” availability of all models.