updated 09:29 am EDT, Wed October 2, 2013
Display manufacturing just getting underway, sources say
Apple will be unable to rollout large numbers of a Retina-equipped iPad mini this month, and will only have limited quantities through the rest of the year if at all, supply chain sources tell Reuters. The supply chain is only now said to be ramping up to manufacture Retina displays for the tablet. Nevertheless, the people claim that Apple will announce a new Mini later in October.
One of the sources explains that there's been a delay in certifying panel producers, which have been given strict power consumption requirements. Sharp, Samsung, and LG Display have all allegedly competed for Retina display orders, but it's unclear which of them have actually been given contracts. Two sources say that Apple has asked suppliers to reduce costs, and one person claims that Apple could even release a Mini with just 8GB of storage, which might help boost sales on poorer countries.
Asking suppliers to cut costs won't necessarily result in cheaper prices, however. "Don't expect the prices to be significantly lower," one source comments. "Even though Apple aims to cut down on component costs, it still ends up around the same as the current Mini because the new Mini will have upgraded specifications."
Apple may have no choice but to launch a Retina-equipped second-generation Mini, despite some earlier rumors that it might skip the technology this year. Google's 2013 Nexus 7 and Amazon's Kindle Fire HDX both have Retina-level displays, and the Mini could look extremely outdated if it maintains a 1024x768 screen.