Ever since the original iPad mini launched in November last year, the one thing it’s clearly been missing is a Retina display. In fact, when I reviewed it shortly after launch, I declared it would be the perfect tablet if only it had a sharper screen. And I still hold that opinion. I love my iPad mini, I just wish it had a Retina display.
The latest speculation from Wall Street Journal implies that Apple is already planning to produce Retina-equipped iPad minis, with the screens coming from Samsung:
TAIPEI—Apple Inc.’s AAPL -0.17% suppliers are gearing up for mass production of a new iPad mini in the fourth quarter that will likely feature a high-resolution screen from Samsung, 005930.SE +0.08% people familiar with the matter say, an indication of the difficulty the U.S. company faces in its attempt to reduce its dependence on its biggest rival.
Apple is working with suppliers in Asia on its next iPad mini with a high-resolution “retina” display, unlike the current iPad mini that comes with a lower-resolution screen, the people said. The size of the new tablet will likely be the same as the current 7.9-inch model, which was released in November last year. Apple has also been contemplating multiple color back covers for the new tablet, they said.
If the display part is true, I’ll be delighted. Having more than two colors available would be pretty nice too. It matches in with Apple’s current design ethos. Looking at all the brightly colored icons in iOS 7, and the range available for iPod touch, it’s clear that Jony Ive is thinking along his original iMac influences. I guess the only downside is that there’ll be less need for companies like Anostyle and MendMyi to offer their color-changing services.
One point worth noting, if the new tablet parts are only being produced in the fourth quarter of the year, it’s unlikely that they will be ready for release before 2014 swings around. It’ll miss the holiday quarter, but there’s no point releasing a slightly tweaked version of the iPad mini, and then release another shortly afterwards. Perhaps Apple will decide to skip announcing a new 7.9″ tablet this year and wait for Spring. Who knows?