Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) Chief Executive Tim Cook did not show much confidence when asked whether his company would be able to meet the demand for the Retina display iPad minis this holiday season, says a report from AppleInsider.Apple

Cook stated during the quarterly earnings conference call, “It’s unclear whether we will have enough for the quarter or not.”

Earlier reports also suggested supply constraints

“We have the idea of how many we have, but don’t have the idea about the demand until shipping starts,” the CEO added.

The response from Cook was an answer to a question put by Steve Milunovich, an analyst from UBS.

Even before the announcement of the second generation iPad mini last week, there were rumors that production problems could cause a problem for supply by the end of 2013. Also, the fact that Retina iPad mini is coming on the heels of the new iPad Air further fuels the speculation that supply for the new tablet will be constrained this holiday season.

iPad sales beat internal predictions

For the September quarter, Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) executives confirmed that the company surpassed its own internal prediction of iPad sales. Total iPad sales came in at 14.1 million for the three-month period, which is a rise from 14 million during the corresponding quarter a year before.

Cook stated that Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) is not keen on the unit share, instead that it prefers to retain users through customer satisfaction. The Apple CEO went on to say that he is “confident” that Apple will increase its iPad sales year over year in the December quarter.

Apple losing tablet share

iPad sales were almost flat compared to the same period last year, even as competitors are witnessing a major growth in sales. Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) has witnessed a drop in total tablet market share from 60% in the previous year to 32% as of today.

The supplies of the Retina iPad may be tight, but holiday shoppers will be consoled by the fact that the supply of the iPad Air can be expected to be normal. With the iPad Air up for sale on November 1, the company is expected to offer in store pick-ups the same day as orders.

Although the company’s CEO is sure about “an iPad Christmas,” there’s the possibility that many people will have to celebrate Christmas without the very newest model.