Apple CEO Tim Cook has provided a bit more context around why the new Retina iPad mini hasn't been given a release date.

Speaking on the company's FY13 earnings call on Monday, Cook said the Retina iPad mini would be shipping "later in November". That's all well and good and matches what we heard from Apple last week, but his next line made us sweat a little: "It's unclear whether we'll have enough for the quarter or not."

The iPad mini is expected to be a hot item at Christmas, so availability could put a real damper on would-be iPad owners and Apple's sales. Cook said it would be clearer how much stock Apple will have once the new tablet begins shipping. But he still seems a bit uneasy about stock in the next few months.

The Retina iPad mini was announced alongside the iPad Air in mid-October, packing the same internals as its 9.8-inch brother but having the smaller screen some have come to love. Shortage crises are nothing new for Apple, as the new iPhone 5S in gold was a tough find for the first few weeks. 

Cook's iPad comments during the call with investors followed earnings that showed iPad sales falling flat. That is likely to change this quarter, where Apple is expecting a record $55-$58 billion in revenue.

"It's going to be an iPad Christmas," Cook said during the call.