(By Balaseshan) Apple Inc.'s (NASDAQ: AAPL) best-selling iPhone 5, the iPad mini, and the fourth generation iPad is hitting the Chinese shore next month, despite production issues.
The Wi-Fi versions of the iPad mini and the fourth generation iPad with Retina display will be available in China on December 7, and the iPhone 5 will be available on December 14.
According to a report on Apple Insider, Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster and his team have conducted store checks and supply analysis at 100 Apple Stores in the U.S., and found the supply of AT&T and Verizon models of iPhone 5 has "significantly improved," while Sprint units remain readily available. (http://appleinsider.com/articles/12/11/21/apple-has-nearly-caught-up-with-demand-for-iphone-5)
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Munster's checks of Apple's stores found "dramatic improvements in availability," as Tuesday night the AT&T model was available at 82 percent of stores and the Verizon model at 72 percent of stores. The Sprint iPhone 5 was also in stock at 92 percent of Apple Stores, according to Apple Insider.
In the U.S., Apple has sold over five million of the thinnest and lightest smartphone ever for the first weekend after the launch on September 21, breaking the previous record of four million held by iPhone 4S.
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Following the launch of the smartphone, The Wall Street Journal reported an executive saying the iPhone 5 is "the most difficult device that Foxconn has ever assembled. To make it light and thin, the design is very complicated."
Meanwhile, Apple said it has sold three million of its new iPad mini and fourth generation iPad for the first weekend after the launch on November 2, breaking the previous record of 1.5 million held by the third generation iPad.
Display panels of the new 7-inch tablet has reportedly suffered low yield rates due to mass production, and backlight module providers have also had a shortage of supplies, which is affecting the amount of iPad minis that can be shipped in 2012, according to a Digitimes report citing industry sources. (http://www.digitimes.com/news/a20121127PD207.html)
The sources told Digitimes that Apple is said to have set a ten million shipment target for the iPad mini for the fourth quarter of 2012, but might only reach six million during the period largely as a result of production delays at AUO.
Apple is predicted to reach its shipment target for the iPad mini during the first quarter of 2013, as parts providers in its supply chain are expected to increase their yields by then, the sources told Digitimes.
iPad mini and the new fourth generation iPad with Retina display are currently available in 42 countries, and iPhone 5 is available in 47 countries, including the US, Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Japan and the UK.
AAPL is trading down 0.35 percent at $587.13 on Friday. The stock has been trading between $377.68 and $705.07 for the past 52 weeks.