Though the iPad mini just went on sale earlier this month for about a week, there are now rumors of an iPad mini 2–or second generation iPad mini. What’s new for the updated slate? For starters, it’s now speculated that Apple would up the resolution of its 7.9-inch tablet with a Retina Display, giving the iPad mini the same number of pixels as the larger 9.7-inch third and fourth generation slates.
That means that the second generation iPad mini would have a resolution of 2048 X 1536 pixels, or four times the total number of pixels on today’s model. This would give an effective pixels-per-inch of 324 ppi.
According to the rumors reported via SlashGear, Apple has asked its display partners AU Optronics to begin building 7.9-inch screens with the Retina Display resolution.
The move towards a Retina Display is unsurprising given that the lower resolution iPad 2 display on the iPad mini remains one of the biggest criticism for the smaller tablet, though recent analysis finds that the screen is still very capable.
Again, as the Retina Display iPad mini would share the same aspect ratio as current iPad models, this would mean the slate would be compatible with the plethora of tablet-optimized apps available today through Apple’s App Store. Developers who have written apps specific for the Retina Display of the third generation and new fourth generation 9.7-inch iPad tablets could easily see their apps run on the Retina Display iPad mini as the slate shares the same pixel resolution, but distributed over a smaller display area.
This would also mean that the forthcoming new iPad mini for 2013 will have a sharper resolution than today’s Retina Display iPad models as the same amount of pixels are spread out over the mini’s smaller display area.
The move would see Apple move its product lines to give most of its products a Retina Display moniker. The first product to debut with Retina Display was the iPhone 4. Since then, Apple has made its iPhone and iPod Touch models with Retina Display resolution screens, and even notebooks such as the 13- and 15-inch MacBook Pro models have also gotten the Retina Display treatment. With the iPad and soon to be 2013 iPad mini models getting the iPad mini, the only mobile products not sporting the resolution would be the company’s ultra-portable MacBook Air models.
Another potential upgrade for the tablet would be the processor. Potentially, Apple could use the newer A6 processor found on the iPhone 5 or the updated A6X processor that debuted with the fourth generation iPad with the iPad Mini. Hopefully, Apple will also give the tablet more RAM as well.