The Wall Street Journal is reporting that sources close to the matter claim that Apple is set to debut a Retina iPad mini in Q4 of this year, just a year after the debut of the first model with a 1024×768 pixel display.
The company is set to source screens of 2048×1056 pixels from Sharp, LG and Samsung, the latter of which did not contribute to the first iPad mini’s screen as a partner. The Journal is also reporting that Apple may sell the updated iPad mini with multiple back colours, similar to its iPod touch strategy. This makes sense, as it is not only differentiating the mini from its more business-focused parent product, but it will also begin replacing its dying iPod touch business.
The main issue I, and many others, have with this assertion is that Apple will need to ensure the higher screen density (in this case, over 3 million pixels and similar pixels per inch to the average 720p smartphone) does not negatively affect battery life, thickness and heat output, things they tackled with the Retina iPad and its 4th generation replacement. It’s hard to foresee the A6X chip being suitable for such a small enclosure, and Apple’s 10-hour battery life promise is sure to be tested with a faster GPU and smaller battery. Even if Apple does thin the device with Sharp’s IGZO screen technology, it still has to account for the higher pixel density and its supreme power needs.
Earlier this week, 9to5mMac found evidence in the current iOS 7 beta that Apple is working on a non-Retina iPad mini with an A6 chip, set to debut later this year. With such completely opposing stories, it’s difficult to know what to believe, but rest assured Apple will release at least a new iPad mini later this year, Retina or not.
Source: Wall Street Journal