Supply Chain Hints Suggest Retina iPad Mini Could Debut in Second Half of 2013

ipadmini.jpgPaul Semenza, an analyst at market research firm DisplaySearch, tells CNET that an iPad mini with Retina display could debut in the third or fourth quarter of this year.

"We're seeing potential in the third quarter of panel production for a higher-resolution iPad Mini," DisplaySearch analyst Paul Semenza told CNET today.

"When would the Mini be available? Could be third quarter or fourth quarter," he said, adding that the speculation is DisplaySearch's best guess based on supply chain data.

Unsurprisingly, Semenza tells CNET that his data points to a resolution of 2048 x 1536 pixels for the Retina display iPad mini, giving it the same number of pixels as the full-size iPad but at a higher density of 324 pixels per inch. He goes on to note that it would be a challenge for Apple and its display partners to pair that kind of display with the current iPad mini chassis at just 7.2 mm thick, hinting that the company may need to increase the device's thickness somewhat as it did when the full-size iPad moved to a Retina display.

Semenza says that LG Display is the strongest candidate to make the display, but that AU Optronics, Sharp, and Japan Display are other possibilities. Japan Display currently produces the display for the iPhone 5, but Semenza says that the company is looking at getting into tablets.

DisplaySearch's report falls in line with what KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo predicted in mid-January, and Kuo has been fairly accurate in the past with his Apple product predictions.

iMore's Rene Ritchie has also been relatively accurate, and he reports that Apple is set to debut the new iPad mini as soon as next month. Ritchie says, however, that a Retina display "doesn't sound imminent", suggesting that an April iPad mini would not contain the higher-resolution display. If Apple moves to a biannual release for its tablets, the company could announce an iPad mini in April and a new Retina iPad mini later this year, matching all three predictions.

Related Roundup: iPad mini 5
Buyer's Guide: iPad Mini (Don't Buy)

Top Rated Comments

brock2621 Avatar
106 months ago
Nexus 7 already beats the Mini. The Mini really needs an update to bring it up to par. Course even being overpriced and under speced it still sells because of the little :apple: on it. Build quality is great, but take away the skin you don't have much left to justify the price.

I know I'll be hated on for saying that, but it's the truth, not my opinion.
Except a thinner AND lighter tablet, with two cameras, better battery life, non-stutter scrolling and not to mention the most important part of owning a tablet in the first place, the worlds best tablet app library.

That's the truth, not my opinion.
Score: 49 Votes (Like | Disagree)
dennno Avatar
106 months ago
People keep expecting revolutionary updates. But you can only do so much with tablets and phones. There is no more revolutionary updates, people need to get used to spec bumps and small touches.

There's always a hoard of people complaining that the next iPad/iPhone doesn't have something revolutionary like holograms or augmented reality or something. If you're looking for the next thing that will wow you don't expect to find it with the next phone or tablet update (from either Apple or its competitors); at least not in the near future.
Score: 36 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Drunken Master Avatar
106 months ago
Google will come out with a high resolution Nexus first mostly like introduced at Google I/O 2013 in May. Apple will probably be in Oct like this year.

http://news.cnet.com/8301-13579_3-57574674-37/retina-ipad-mini-later-new-nexus-7-sooner-displaysearch/

Damn...if Google really makes the Nexus 7 thinner and stuff, that would be nice. Looks like Google beating Apple again.

The Android tablet experience would have to improve a lot for a Nexus to be an overall better device than an iPad.
Score: 35 Votes (Like | Disagree)
HiRez Avatar
106 months ago
The whole twice-a-year upgrade cycle seems a bit desperate on apple's part. They know that a certain percentage of users will upgrade no matter what, so it seems like they're shipping garbage upgrades just because they're guaranteed a certain number of sales. :/

In what way is a retina Mini a "garbage" upgrade? I know lots of people wating on a Mini purchase for just that reason, and I'm one of them. Plus, you don't even know what else it would have.
Score: 29 Votes (Like | Disagree)
canadianpj Avatar
106 months ago
Nexus 7 already beats the Mini. The Mini really needs an update to bring it up to par. Course even being overpriced and under speced it still sells because of the little :apple: on it. Build quality is great, but take away the skin you don't have much left to justify the price.

I know I'll be hated on for saying that, but it's the truth, not my opinion.

Nope, just your opinion sorry, not the truth.
Score: 15 Votes (Like | Disagree)
gmcalpin Avatar
106 months ago
Nexus 7 already beats the Mini.… I know I'll be hated on for saying that, but it's the truth, not my opinion.

No, I'm pretty sure that's your opinion. The iPad mini is way better than the Google Nexus 7. In MY opinion. Because of the App Store.
Score: 15 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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