According to the latest speculations, the iPad mini with Retina Display, Apple’s second generation tablet with a smaller 7.9-inch display, may not arrive until the first quarter of 2014, rather than the much anticipated fall release schedule. Analysts are citing manufacturing problems behind the high resolution display as the cause for the delayed launch.
“We’re looking at Q1 2014,” NPD DisplaySearch analyst Richard Shim told CNET. The date is still changing and is up in the air still, according to Shim.
At this point, it’s unclear what technology Apple may be looking at to power a Retina Display on the second generation iPad mini. One possible solution is low-temperature polysilicon, or LTPS, which is being used on the iPhone 5. However, due to the larger 7.9-inch display of the iPad mini, LTPS may be a challenge to scale to a bigger screen.
Analysts had previously claimed that a Retina Display on the iPad mini would be possible if Apple made some compromises. Given that moving from the iPad 2 to the iPad 3 and iPad 4 had resulted in an increase in weight and thickness of the latter two devices, it could be garnered that an iPad mini with Retina Display may be thicker and slightly heavier than the non-Retina first generation model.
However, given that Apple’s close rival Samsung had debuted a Galaxy Note 8.0 tablet, which roughly has the same screen size as an iPad mini, with a non-high resolution display, Apple may not be in a rush to get a Retina model to the market. The Galaxy Note 8.0 debuted with a 1280 X 800-pixel display whereas the iPad mini has a slightly lower resolution 1024 X 768-pixel resolution. An iPad mini with Retina Display would have 4 times as many pixels and would definitely be a huge resolution jump over the Galaxy Note 8.0.
The Q1 2014 rumored release date would give the iPad mini a shelf life of over a year. The original iPad mini debuted in the fall of 2012.
Apple’s CEO Tim Cook had previously teased that new products are coming this fall, so it’s unclear if an iPad mini refresh would be part of that lineup. More recently, Apple had been rumored to debut a low-cost iPad mini at its WWDC conference this June.