"Similar to the iPhone 5, we sensed that suppliers have found the specs around Apple's 7.85-inch 'iPad Mini' to be a challenge and yields have been frustrating," Brian White, supply chain analyst for Topeka Capital Markets, said in a note posted Thursday.
Apple is expected to announce the iPad mini at a special event this month, with recent rumors having invitations for the event distributed Oct. 10 for an event to be held one week later, macobserver.com reported.
White said the supply problems could result in a relatively small 5 to 7 million units sold in the December quarter.
"We believe that supply constraints will initially hold back the full sales potential during the first month or so of the launch," he wrote.
However, even at an expected price in the $250 to $300 range, higher than similar offerings from Amazon and Google, the smaller iPad will share the "iconic aesthetics" of its larger sibling and would "blow away" competing products, White predicted.