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Apple Inc. (AAPL): Scuff-gate, and Where’s the iPad Mini?

Apple Inc.Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) certainly did its usual effective job of marketing its new iPhone 5, and it resulted in plenty of anticipation to the point that the company’s stock price rose to an all-time high of $705 per share just before the iPhone launch, and the device set opening-weekend sales records of 5 million units. However, that number missed analysts’ expectations, and then some concerns over Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) supply chain delays and now some scuffs and scratches impacting the shiny aluminum chassis.

Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) saw its sales numbers be impacted by slowdowns in production of parts, including the new touch-cell displys – which had pushed delivery dates back two to four weeks in short order. Then, the company has had to apologize over a subpar mapping system, and most recently Apple Inc. (AAPL) has received complaints over the chassis of the iPhone 5 arriving out of the box with scratches and scuffs, which has compelled Apple to clamp down on tighter quality control standards at its Foxconn plants in China – which has, in turn, slowed down production even further, not to mention recent walk-outs by thousands of quality-control workers.

With the tightening of standards, Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) now is dealing with a shortage of aluminum chassis for their iPhones, which is rumored to have forced Foxconn to idle some of its factories – though Foxconn denies the rumor. Still, though, it seems that devices will take longer to be delivered now that more than 30 countries can buy the devices, with 100 expected to be online by the end of the year.

The latest blow, however, to Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) fortunes came with the expectation that invitations would be sent out Wednesday to announce the unveiling of the iPad Mini next Wednesday. But as of Thursday, no such invitations were sent out, which suggests a possible delay in the unveiling and subsequent launch of the newest tablet device. Another setback with Apple Inc. (AAPL) will likely contribute more to the current slide in Apple stock, which raises questions by investors like billionaire fund manager Julian Robertson of Tiger Management.  What questions would you have? How does this affect the stock and your strategy?

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