Delivery delayed ... Apple's iPad mini.

Delivery delayed ... Apple's iPad mini. Photo: Bloomberg

Apple's iPad mini will now take about two weeks to ship to customers who order it from the company's online store, suggesting the product may be temporarily sold out.

Models with wi-fi only are available to ship in two weeks, while versions with mobile data network connections will be sent to customers in mid-November, according to delivery information on Apple's website.

They have priced it to the point where they are willing to sacrifice profit margins to gain market share. 

Michael Walkley, analyst

When the company introduced the iPad mini on October 23, the company said that wi-fi only models would be available from November 2, with mobile-connected versions to start shipping "a couple of weeks" later.

The 7.9-inch iPad mini, which costs $369 to $729, is entering a tablet market crowded with cheaper alternatives from Amazon.com, Google and Samsung. The backlog suggests Apple will continue to "dominate" the market and may sell 101.6 million iPads in 2013, said Michael Walkley, an analyst at Canaccord Genuity.

"They have priced it to the point where they are willing to sacrifice profit margins to gain market share," Walkley said. "That puts them in a position to dominate."

The iPad mini's smaller size makes it popular with women and the lower starting price will make it a common holiday gift, said Walkley, citing his own surveys.

Walkley said Apple's sales will dwarf the 10.7 million tablets Amazon will sell in 2013 and 8.4 million from Samsung.

With the debut of a smaller iPad, Apple will help double the size of the market for 7-inch tablets this year, to about 34 million units, according to a report from IHS ISuppli.

Apple has experienced shipping delays and supply shortages with other products, most recently the iPhone 5.

Natalie Kerris, a spokeswoman for Cupertino, California- based Apple, declined to comment.

Bloomberg