Apple’s (NASDAQ:AAPL) Taiwan suppliers are expected to ship 13 million units of the iPad mini in the first quarter of the coming calendar year, helping the company get closer to the NDP DisplaySearch prediction of sales of 20 million units in 2013. There have been reports that Apple will substantially expand iPad mini production next year with help from electronics manufacturer Pegatron.

What Do iPad Mini Shipments Look Like?

Shipments of the smaller tablet are expected to reach 8 million units in the ongoing quarter, according to DigiTimes. However, Apple may have been able to ship between 10 million to 12 million units if supplies of touch panels had been sufficient. Officially, Apple has only admitted to selling a combined total of three million iPad mini and fourth-generation iPad units over the opening weekend.

But while Apple has not provided a breakdown of those early numbers or given a more detailed account of iPad mini sales, several analysts believe demand for the smaller tablet has outstripped supply. Sterne Agee analyst Shaw Wu recently lowered his iPad sales estimates for this quarter from 25 million to 23.5 million. “iPad mini demand remains strong,” Wu wrote, “but shipments appear limited by supply constraints. On the other hand, build plans for iPad appear to have been reduced likely due to some cannibalization by iPad mini.”

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