A couple of months back we read a number of reports claiming that Apple either wouldn’t be – or wasn’t decided on – releasing a Retina display-equipped iPad mini this fall. The first generation iPad mini was announced last year at the same time as the 5th generation 9.7″ iPad. Since that day the only real request for updating has been for the display to be improved. In fact, I’m convinced it would be the perfect tablet if Apple could double the resolution and still retain the same form factor and battery life.
A rumor published today re-affirms those earlier fears that our dreams won’t be coming true during this calendar year. IHS iSuppli has been checking the supply chain for signs of life, and so far believes that production levels of the Retina resolution 7.9″ display are nowhere near as high as they should be for an upcoming launch. iPad 5 displays, however, are on track for the October/November launch we’re all expecting.
Rhoda Alexander, IHS Suppli’s director of Tablet and Monitor Research stated that “manufacturing volumes on that would match better with a Q114 [first quarter 2014] launch.” If the research (and statement) hold true, it could see a return to the March release of an iPad. Something we though was long gone when no new iPads were announced in the first quarter of this year.
Of course, there’s a chance that this analysis turns out not to be true. What we do know is that, one way or another, we’ll find out exactly what Apple has planned in the next month or two.