Apple Inc. (AAPL)’s iPad mini will now take about two weeks to ship to customers who order it from the company’s online store, suggesting the product may be temporarily sold out.
Models with Wi-Fi only are available to ship in two weeks, while versions with wireless-network connections will be sent to customers in mid-November, according to delivery information on Apple’s website. When the company introduced the iPad mini on Oct. 23, the company said that Wi-Fi only models would be available Nov. 2, with wireless versions to start shipping “a couple of weeks” later.
The 7.9-inch iPad mini, which costs $329 to $659, is entering a tablet market crowded with cheaper alternatives from Amazon.com Inc., Google Inc. and Samsung Electronics Co. The backlog suggests Apple will continue to “dominate” the market and may sell 101.6 million iPads in 2013, said Michael Walkley, an analyst at Canaccord Genuity Inc.
“They have priced it to the point where they are willing to sacrifice profit margins to gain market share,” Walkley said. “That puts them in a position to dominate.”
The iPad mini’s smaller size makes it popular with women and the lower starting price will make it a common holiday gift, said Walkley, citing his own surveys.
Walkley said Apple’s sales will dwarf the 10.7 million tablets Amazon will sell in 2013 and 8.4 million from Samsung.
With the debut of a smaller iPad, Apple will help double the size of the market for 7-inch tablets this year, to about 34 million units, according to a report from IHS ISuppli.
Apple has experienced shipping delays and supply shortages with other products, most recently the iPhone 5.
Natalie Kerris, a spokeswoman for Cupertino, California- based Apple, declined to comment.
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