If Apple releases a gold iPad mini 2 with a fingerprint reader, but no Retina display, then they don’t understand what customers want most in a new iPad mini 2. A gold iPad mini 2, like the one created in the image below in a third-party render, might look as cool as the gold iPhone 5s. Adding the iPhone 5s fingerprint reader might add potentially useful functionality to iPad mini 2. But neither of these gives iPad mini owners what they really want: a Retina display.
We can think of 4 reasons Apple should certainly update the screen on the iPad mini to a Retina display. Comparing the iPad mini to the new Nexus 7 Android 4.3 tablet shows that there’s no good reason for Apple to leave out a Retina display.
- Google Makes a Retina-equivalent display for $100 less than the iPad mini. We’ve tested Google’s new Nexus 7 tablet and found that it offers a beautiful display that’s as good as Apple’s Retina display. The screen gives owners crisp text for reading, viewing beautiful images and watching video playback. Games look awesome too.
- Tablet owners interact with the screen more than any single feature. Besides the bezel, which users must touch to hold the device, tablet users interact with their device via the screen. That’s why Apple should focus on making the best possible screen available.
- If Google can make one for $229, then Apple can for $329. There’s no good reason Apple shouldn’t put a Retina Display in their tablet at the same price of the current iPad mini when Google can do it for $100 less. People argue that Apple makes the iPad mini with higher quality material. That’s possibly true, but not with the most important feature: the screen. The price increase makes up for the higher quality casing and internals.
- Buyers don’t care how manufacturers make money. They only care about the product they buy. Is it fair to compare Google’s tablet to the iPad mini, since Google makes the Nexus 7 as a lost leader pushing users to their real money-maker: online ads? Apple marks up their hardware since that’s their primary source of revenue. However, Apple makes a lot of money off iOS devices thanks to iTunes and the App Store. They already build the markup into the price by selling a tablet for $100 more. We’re not asking them to make a Retina tablet for the same price as Google, but for the same price as their current generation low res tablet. We think there’s still plenty of room for revenue from hardware sales, plus digital content and accessories.
Most iPad mini owners won’t upgrade unless Apple replaces the low res screen with a Retina display. If they do, plenty will, regardless of getting a pretty gold housing or useful fingerprint reader.