Jefferies analysts expected Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) to release the iPad Mini Retina towards the end of November, but an earlier-than-expected launch is a positive surprise, according to Jefferies analysts Peter Misek, Jason North, and Billy Kim. The pre-orders for the gadget went live on November 12 at midnight.Apple

Analysts expect the supply to remain low as can largely be gathered by the quiet launch of the iPad mini Retina for pre-orders.

Screen yield issue remains for Apple

Analysts believe that although the supply will be short this quarter, “this is incrementally positive.”

The report recalls the October visit of analysts to Asia, where they found that the screen yields for iPad were lagging far behind. Apple might have kept the release of iPad a quiet affair due to the screen yield constraint, believe analysts. However, the constraints are slowly dissolving, which provides “some upside to the ~5 iPad mini Retina display units we expected in the quarter.”

Contrary to its trend, Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) quietly brought the gadget to its online store, which strengthens the estimates that the screen yield issue has not been completely resolved.

Availability of different versions

From the website, it can be gathered that most of the versions are available to be shipped within 1-3 days of placing orders, which indicates some improvement in the Retina Display screen issue. For bigger versions like the iPad mini Retina 64 GB and 128 GB along with the cellular SKUs, availability is within 5-10 shipping days, which according to analysts is due to “build plan allocation.”

Others who signaled short supply

Recently, Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) Chief Tim Cook said that it is not clear that every user wanting an iPad will get one this holiday season.

Analyst Brian White of Cantor Fitzgerald said in a report that one should order the iPad Mini Retina as soon as possible to get one. As suggested by Jefferies analysts, White also said that the stealth pre-order launch of the iPad mini suggests that there are still supply issues faced by the company regarding its screen.

Jefferies analysts have a Buy rating on Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) with a price target of $600 while Cantor Fitzgerald has given a price target of $777.