Apple is said to be getting ready to launch the iPad mini 2 in the spring.

RBC Capital Markets analyst Doug Freedman said: "iPad Mini Gen-2: Apple's gen-2 iPad mini is getting pulled-in, and is likely to have several new suppliers, with TXN gaining content." Freedman is currently touring chip manufacturers in China.

It is thought that the phrase "pulled in" refers to the idea that Apple is getting ready to start production, although Cnet notes that Apple is already struggling to make enough of the current iPad mini, and suggests that the analyst may be getting ahead of himself.

Last month Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster predicted that Apple will come out with a new Retina display iPad mini in March. Ex CEO John Sculley has suggested that Apple is moving to a six-month product cycle.

Apple introduced the original iPad mini on 2 November – current shipping estimates are one week.

Despite the shortages of the current iPad mini, a DigiTimes report suggests that Apple may ship 12 million iPad minis by the end of 2012.

That site reports that Apple has recently increased its iPad mini orders from eight million units to 10 million due to strong sales worldwide.

According to their sources, the volume may reach 12 million units in total.

The report claims that the volumes will stay at the same level in the first quarter of 2013.

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