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CommentApple releases Retina-display iPad mini

Industry watchers scrutinise Apple announcements as hard as a customer might look at its high-resolution Retina displays, trying to see the individual pixels that are supposed to be indistinguishable to the human eye.

Thus, this morning's announcement - that the iPad mini with its own new Retina display is now on sale - will be subject to the usual intense analysis.

The mini is out a dozen days after the launch of the iPad Air.

The Apple rumour mill had it that Apple's display suppliers were struggling to meet its demands for the Retina version, leading to a delay in the iPad mini's roll-out and to limits on inventory.

The rumours were given some credence when Apple announced a November 1 launch date for the iPad Air when it was unveiled last month, but the date for the iPad mini's introduction was given as a vague "later in November".

Analysts will be encouraged that the "delay" is so short, but will speculate on whether supplies will still be limited.

At least the tablet is out in time to hit the peak selling season in the US around the holidays, although Apple is looking at potential lost revenues and customers could face disappointment if the sold-out signs are quickly posted.

The last word is from Tim Cook, chief executive, who was asked about possible supply issues on Apple's earnings call on October 28:

It's unclear whether we will have enough for the quarter or not... you really don't know the demand until after you start shipping and so we'll see how that goes. But I think we'll do fairly well with iPad...we feel like it's going to be a really great holiday season.

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