The iPad mini 2 with Retina Display is back up on the rumor block for a 2013 release according to an analyst who believes LG will start production of the smaller Retina Display panels in June or July.
Since the first iPad mini arrived in late 2012, users have hoped for a higher-resolution Retina Display, which makes this part the subject of many rumors.
An iPad mini 2 with a Retina Display would offer a better looking screen with sharper text and no perceptible pixels when reading, looking at photos and gaming. The iPad mini and iPad 2 are the only Apple mobile devices without a Retina screen. The iPad 2 is excusable due to the age of the device, but as Apple pushes developers to support Retina it makes sense that the company wants to deliver an iPad mini 2 with a Retina Display.
Earlier this week NPD DisplaySearch analyst Richard Shim told CNet that the iPad mini with Retina Display wasn’t likely to happen until the first quarter of 2014, following an iPad mini 2 without an Retina Display in Q3. The note was later updated to clarify that Shim expects an iPad mini 2 with Retina Display in Q3. This lines up with Tim Cook’s recent statement that Apple is preparing products for a fall launch.
In a separate note shared with CNet, Shim claims, “We should see the start of mass production of the panels in June or July,” referring to the iPad mini Retina Display panels, which he predicts will be made by LG Display, as part of Apple’s continued push to freeze Samsung out of the iPad supply chain.
According to his report the iPad mini 2 Retina Display will feature the same 2,048 x 1,536 resolution as the iPad 4, which is to be expected as Apple likely wants to keep the number of resolutions developers need to support as small as possible. This resolution on a smaller screen would result in a 324 pixels-per-inch rating, nearly double the current iPad mini. This would also be higher than the iPad 4 and likely higher than the iPad 5.
While Shim’s timing of an iPad mini 2 release date is plausible, his claims that Apple will deliver an iPad mini 2 with Retina Display sometime in Q3 2013 and then follow up with an iPad mini with a better processor in Q1 2014. Apple’s release cycle is up in the air after last year’s short span between the iPad 3 and the iPad 4, but it is unlikely that Apple will be able to push a Retina Display with the same processor that is in the iPad mini. NPD DisplaySearch focuses on displays across mobile devices and correctly predicted the iPad 3 with Retina Display months ahead of the 2012 debut.
The odds are significantly higher that Apple will announce the iPad mini 2 with a Retina Display and a new processor at the same time. The iPad mini uses a smaller second generation Apple A5 processor, and based on this we could see Apple push out a smaller Apple A6 processor for the iPad mini 2. The current Apple A6 processor found in the iPhone 5 measures 96.71 mm2, roughly 20mm2 bigger than the size of the iPad mini’s A5 processor.
Other analysts suggest the iPad mini 2 will launch at an event with the iPhone 5S in the fall. Ming-Chi Kuo, a noted Apple analyst with Supply Chain ties believes the iPad mini 2 will feature a Retina Display, and that it is the reason Apple did not hold an iPad event earlier this year.