Delivery estimates for the iPad Mini from the U.S. Apple store have improved from 3 to 5 days in January to 1 to 3 days.
Either demand for the iPad Mini is slowing or Apple has been able to ramp up production faster than expected. During the quarterly earnings call last month, Cook acknowledged that Apple fell short on fulfilling demand for the iPad Mini. “Customers love the Mini and we wish that we could have made more and we ended the quarter with significant backlog,” he said. Apple sold 22.86 million iPads last quarter, up from 15.4 million in the same quarter of 2011. The company did not break out the number of iPad Minis sold.
Cook said that Apple will be able to “achieve supply-demand balance” for the iPad Mini next month. “As we indicated last quarter, the iPad Mini gross margin is significantly below the corporate average, and we expect to be able to meet demand for this product in the March quarter, which again we could not in the December quarter.
Cook has described the iPad as the “mother of all opportunities.”
“On iPad in particular, we have the mother of all opportunities here, because the Windows market is much, much larger than the Mac market is,” Cook said. “And I think it is clear that it’s already cannibalizing some, and I think there’s a tremendous amount of more opportunity there and as you know I’ve said for two or three years now that I believe the tablet market will be larger than the PC market at some point, and I still believe that. And you can see by the growth in tablets and the pressure on PCs that those lines are beginning to converge.”
According to IDC estimates, Apple had 43.6 percent of tablet shipments in the last three months of 2012, more than three times the market share of Samsung.
Apple is expected to refresh the iPad family in the second half of this year, with analysts predicting more than 100 million iPads sold for the calendar year. In the nearly three years since the iPad became available, Apple has sold more than 121 million units.[source:cnet]