According to one analyst’s observations of Apple’s supply partners, both the iPad Mini and the Apple Television appear to be in production.
While Apple has yet to acknowledge plans, let alone the existence, of the iPad Mini and the long-rumored Apple Television, Peter Misek of Jeffries & Co. believes both of them are in full production. His conclusion is based on looking at the movements of Apple’s production partners, and while his evidence doesn’t bluntly tell us what is being built, it does definitely make you think that something unusual is going on.
The most compelling evidence relates to the rumored iPad Mini. Foxconn, Apple’s long time production partner on iOS devices, saw its July revenues jump by 5 percent this year while typically the summer months are considered to be flat for manufacturers. When he turned his attention to the component makers in Taiwan, he found that more parts were moving than usual, enough that it would appear Apple was building 25 million iPads in the September instead of the expected 18 million. The fourth quarter of the year had been pegged at 22 to 25 million units, but it now appears that it could be more than 30 million. While sales of the iPad have been excellent so far this this year, typically, you don’t increase production by around 30 percent on a whim.
As for the phantom Apple Television set, Misek cites information from panel maker Sharp as the reason for his beliefs. “Recent data out of Sharp, Hon Hai and other specialty chemical and TV component suppliers support this,” he said. He went on to add that JDSU recently said that it has a new non-gaming customer purchasing gesture control models which are the ones used in the Kinect controller from Microsoft. JDSU did not disclose the name of the new client, but said it was a “living room” based product. While there has been rumors of the inclusion of gesture controls in the Apple Television, to be fair the technology has been showing up in other company’s products as well, so it may not be Apple.
There is definitely enough evidence to make one think that Apple has some new tricks up its sleeve, but is it the iPad Mini and the Apple Television? Only time will tell.