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Apple inventory snapshot suggests new MacBook Pros imminent, non-Retina iPad mini may live on

post #1 of 72
Thread Starter 
A near last minute snapshot of Apple's indirect channel inventory ahead of Tuesday's media event supports expectations of new Retina MacBook Pros, 9.7-inch fifth-gen iPads, and a redesigned Mac Pro, but shows surprisingly large stock of Apple TV and the most popular iPad minis.

Inventory Update


An overview of the inventory data has been summarized in the table below. It should be noted that the data behind the chart comes from one of Apple's indirect channels that support big-box retailers and resellers, and not those channels that serve the company own online and retails stores. It therefore should b.e used only to supplement existing information surrounding the company's upcoming product launches on Oct 22, as it does not offer conclusive evidence in all cases.

For instance, while the data from the channel -- and AppleInsider's own Mac Price Guide -- clearly points to revised 13- and 15-inch Retina MacBook Pros, new 9.7-inch iPad Retinas, and near term availability of the Mac Pro, it paints a less definitive picture of plans for the iPad mini and Apple TV product lines.

According to one person familiar with the data, inventory levels of Apple's $329 16-gigabyte iPad mini Wi-Fi and $429 32-gigabyte iPad mini Wi-Fi remain "shockingly" high, with the remainder of the existing iPad mini line being in average-to-constrained supply. This could suggest that Apple may be planning to keep at least some of the non-Retina iPad mini models on the market at a lower price point than the new Retina iPad minis the company is widely expected to introduce on Tuesday.

Inventory Update


Alternatively, Apple may have just recently dumped its remain inventory of iPad minis from its direct channels into its indirect channels ahead of next week's introductions, a practice that is not uncommon for the Cupertino-based company when it needs to clear out its channel for new stock.

Similarly, those familiar with the matter added that inventory of Apple's current Apple TV model is "the highest its been in months."
post #2 of 72
People will take from this that we will not see a Retina iPad mini this year. I am still betting that they will announce it Tueday and ship them in November
post #3 of 72
"Alternatively, Apple may have just recently dumped its remain inventory of iPad minis from its direct channels into its indirect channels ahead of next weeks introductions, a practice that is not uncommon for the Cupertino-based company when it needs to clear out its channel for new stock."

Citation?
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post #4 of 72
Maybe they'll drop the price of the models that are in "good inventory" while they come out with newer models to replace the existing ones at the current prices? Just a possibility, but not a high probability.
post #5 of 72
I still believe Apple will keep the non-Retina mini and reduce the price slightly to $299+, add the Retina mini model for $399+, and the full size for $499+. iPad 2 is no longer filling the $399 slot so it follows Apple's model of shrinking size but increasing resolution. Mini's will feature A6 and A6X accordingly. 9.7" iPad can expect an A7X processor.
post #6 of 72
I should note that this provides something at every price point (not including contracts). iPhone 4S at $0, 5c for $99, 5s for $199, iPad mini $299, Retina mini for $399, full size iPad for $499-$799. Now the real question is what will Apple squeeze between the high end iPad and the low end 11" MacBook Air? My guess is an eventual A7 or A8 powered MacBook Air...
post #7 of 72

Doesn't the iPad mini have the same pixel count as the iPad 2?

 

If Apple were to introduce a Retina iPad mini, I assume it would have the same pixel count as the bigger Retina iPad. This means a higher resolution screen for the mini.  I wonder if such screens are available and what they would cost Apple.

 

Anybody have any knowledge about this?  Please share.

post #8 of 72

New Retina Macbook Pros are pretty much given.  Haswell will certainly boost battery life. Plus PCIe flash and faster WiFi to make them current with the technologies employed in the Macbook Air.

 

What I wonder is whether Apple will rationalize the product line.  Will they drop at least some of the old Macbook Pros even if they keep the low-end 13?  Will they add Fusion drive?  The Mac mini and the iMac have the Fusion drive, but the Macbook Pro does not.  Would love to see more storage at lower price points even if it is not all flash.

post #9 of 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleGreen View Post
 

I wonder if such screens are available and what they would cost Apple.

 

Anybody have any knowledge about this?  Please share.

 

There are phones that have 1080 screens, and they are smaller than an iPad Mini, so yes, such screens do exist.

post #10 of 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by Apple ][ View Post

There are phones that have 1080 screens, and they are smaller than an iPad Mini, so yes, such screens do exist.

But can they perform to Apple's specifications?
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post #11 of 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleGreen View Post

New Retina Macbook Pros are pretty much given.  Haswell will certainly boost battery life. Plus PCIe flash and faster WiFi to make them current with the technologies employed in the Macbook Air.
What is interesting here is that PCI Express flash, Samsung has announced that it is now shipping 3D flash technology in volume. This could be very interesting in the Mac Pro and Mac Book Pro as it could put a lot of storage space on those little cards Apple uses. Possibly cheaper storage too, though bleeding edge comes with a premium in most cases.
Quote:
What I wonder is whether Apple will rationalize the product line.  Will they drop at least some of the old Macbook Pros even if they keep the low-end 13?
I think that is a matter of demand and supply. If production capacity is there everything will go retina in the Mac Book Pros.
Quote:
 Will they add Fusion drive?  
Storage space is a real issue in the retina Mac Book Pros so that would be nice. However if Apple is one of the companies Samsung is shipping 3D tech to, we could see significant increases in SSD sizes at current prices.
Quote:
The Mac mini and the iMac have the Fusion drive, but the Macbook Pro does not.  Would love to see more storage at lower price points even if it is not all flash.

True, it is a big shortcoming of the retina MBPs. Even if Apple implements higher tech "drives" I'd like to see them support two blade slots in each retina MBP. It simply makes the machines feasible for a wider array of users.
post #12 of 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by dasanman69 View Post


But can they perform to Apple's specifications?

I suppose that we'll know the answer to that on tuesday, when we find out if there is a retina iPad Mini or not.

 

And let's be honest, the current iPad Mini screen is not all that great. It's totally acceptable and usable, but pales in comparison to the full size iPad screen. I have both, so it's pretty easy to see the difference, and I'm not just talking about the obvious difference in resolution, but the colors etc.

 

It should not be a problem for Apple to get a hold of a decent retina screen that is 7.9", IMO.

post #13 of 72

The iPad Mini is analogous to the Macbook Air - ultraportable, battery weight being a primary concern, and Retina would eat more battery.

 

I think Apple still regards Retina as a pro feature for this year at least. The Macbook Pro has it, The Mac Pro will in a few days (Phil spoke about 4K monitors at WWDC), but the iMac and Macbook Air were both recently updated without it.

post #14 of 72
Can you imagine a $279 iPad mini (first gen)? Or, dare I say $229? I say $279 because the 16 gb iPod touch is currently $229

It will be the step to choke out all but the cheapest of tablets, as the various iPod models did.
post #15 of 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by ascii View Post
 

The iPad Mini is analogous to the Macbook Air - ultraportable, battery weight being a primary concern, and Retina would eat more battery.

 

I think Apple still regards Retina as a pro feature for this year at least. The Macbook Pro has it, The Mac Pro will in a few days (Phil spoke about 4K monitors at WWDC), but the iMac and Macbook Air were both recently updated without it.

You make a good argument for no RMini....still? :)

post #16 of 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by ascii View Post

The iPad Mini is analogous to the Macbook Air - ultraportable, battery weight being a primary concern, and Retina would eat more battery.

I think Apple still regards Retina as a pro feature for this year at least. The Macbook Pro has it, The Mac Pro will in a few days (Phil spoke about 4K monitors at WWDC), but the iMac and Macbook Air were both recently updated without it.
iPad mini is only iOS devices without retina. iOS 7 is pretty crappy on non-retina screens. If iPod touch and every iPhone has retina why is it so hard to get retina into a mini? I don't think it's fair to compare the MacBook Air and Pro. To me the non retina mini is akin to doing a 15" rMBP but not a 13" inch. In terms of functionality there really isn't anything the full size iPad has that the mini doesn't. Apple can leave the mini non retina but a lot of people will be unhappy and I do think it will negatively impact iPad sales. This isn't a case of trying to upsell people, because some people just want the more portable device. Why should people who prefer the smaller form factor be penalized?
post #17 of 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rogifan View Post


iPad mini is only iOS devices without retina. iOS 7 is pretty crappy on non-retina screens. If iPod touch and every iPhone has retina why is it so hard to get retina into a mini? I don't think it's fair to compare the MacBook Air and Pro. To me the non retina mini is akin to doing a 15" rMBP but not a 13" inch. In terms of functionality there really isn't anything the full size iPad has that the mini doesn't. Apple can leave the mini non retina but a lot of people will be unhappy and I do think it will negatively impact iPad sales. This isn't a case of trying to upsell people, because some people just want the more portable device. Why should people who prefer the smaller form factor be penalized?

It's a good point about iOS 7, I didn't think of that, because in one of his interviews Jony Ive said iOS 7 was the first iOS designed with Retina in mind from the beginning. But I still think the iPad Mini is more like the Macbook Air than the 13" Macbook Pro, so I stick with my prediction that it won't have Retina. Anyway we will know in only 3 days, and if I'm wrong you can reply to this post with "Haha."

post #18 of 72
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post #19 of 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rogifan View Post


iPad mini is only iOS devices without retina. iOS 7 is pretty crappy on non-retina screens. If iPod touch and every iPhone has retina why is it so hard to get retina into a mini? I don't think it's fair to compare the MacBook Air and Pro. To me the non retina mini is akin to doing a 15" rMBP but not a 13" inch. In terms of functionality there really isn't anything the full size iPad has that the mini doesn't. Apple can leave the mini non retina but a lot of people will be unhappy and I do think it will negatively impact iPad sales. This isn't a case of trying to upsell people, because some people just want the more portable device. Why should people who prefer the smaller form factor be penalized?

iOA 7 is not only crappy on non-retina screens it will be equally crappy on retina.  It will still have the same UI deficiencies and until someone gets rid of Mr Ive it is not likely we will get relief from this.

 

To say nothing of the fact that iCal and Reminders are not reliable in their function.

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post #20 of 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by jkichline View Post

... My guess is an eventual A7 or A8 powered MacBook Air...

I really don't understand why people think there will be an A processor in an Apple laptop. There is NO software ecosystem for it. If you disagree, then you are conflating the iOS and OS X runtimes and intents. If you're all about having a keyboard, then the "Macbook Air with an A processor" already exists as the "iPad with a keyboard". If *ever* they do converge on the A CPU, it won't be until like the A20, and not until Apple completely dominates all computing, with everyone having drank the filesystems-are-bad Kool Aid, and with Microsoft as a subsidiary.
Edited by kustardking - 10/19/13 at 6:42pm
post #21 of 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by ascii View Post

It's a good point about iOS 7, I didn't think of that, because in one of his interviews Jony Ive said iOS 7 was the first iOS designed with Retina in mind from the beginning. But I still think the iPad Mini is more like the Macbook Air than the 13" Macbook Pro, so I stick with my prediction that it won't have Retina. Anyway we will know in only 3 days, and if I'm wrong you can reply to this post with "Haha."

 



I think the iPad line will have an identity crisis if the Mini doesn't get retina. To keep it non-retina puts all the awesome sauce in the larger form factor, and the larger form factor is simply not appealing to lots of people.
post #22 of 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by ascii View Post

It's a good point about iOS 7, I didn't think of that, because in one of his interviews Jony Ive said iOS 7 was the first iOS designed with Retina in mind from the beginning. But I still think the iPad Mini is more like the Macbook Air than the 13" Macbook Pro, so I stick with my prediction that it won't have Retina. Anyway we will know in only 3 days, and if I'm wrong you can reply to this post with "Haha."
Just curious why you think the mini is like MBA? What can the full size iPad do that the mini can't?
post #23 of 72
I personally like IOS7. Love the new features. Can't wait until Tuesday, hope there is at least SOME surprise...hard to keep secrets these days I guess.
post #24 of 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sky King View Post

iOA 7 is not only crappy on non-retina screens it will be equally crappy on retina.  It will still have the same UI deficiencies and until someone gets rid of Mr Ive it is not likely we will get relief from this.

To say nothing of the fact that iCal and Reminders are not reliable in their function.
I guess you'll just have to go elsewhere as there's no indication Apple is relieving Mr Ive of his duties.
post #25 of 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by kustardking View Post

I think the iPad line will have an identity crisis if the Mini doesn't get retina. To keep it non-retina puts all the awesome sauce in the larger form factor, and the larger form factor is simply not appealing to lots of people.

What if it hits the margins too hard though? It helps to have a Mini at $329 to be price competitive with cheaper eBook readers. That price point doesn't give much room to move in terms of quality. Say they get 30% margins from those, that means to build it costs just $230 for a processor, RAM, storage, display, metal casing, dual cameras, battery. A high-res display might have $50 extra costs because of lower yields or higher cost materials and that would either drop margins below 15% or increase the price to $399, neither of which are good.

If staying non-Retina is the only way to stay price-competitive and maintain margins, they should stick to it, same as with the Macbook Air. They could perhaps have the larger capacity models Retina so for example:

16GB non-Retina: $329
32GB Retina: $429
64GB Retina $529

I don't know what exact prices they'd need to make it worthwhile but it would serve to push people up the price scale rather than give too much quality on the entry model, which would lower the average selling price. This is where the latest iPhone works as it is clearly pushing people up to the 5S, which has a higher price rather than down to the 5C. This is great for Apple.
post #26 of 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by kustardking View Post

I really don't understand why people think there will be an A processor in an Apple laptop. There is NO software ecosystem for it. If you disagree, then you are conflating the iOS and OS X runtimes and intents. If you're all about having a keyboard, then the "Macbook Air with an A processor" already exists as the "iPad with a keyboard". If *ever* they do converge on the A CPU, it won't be until like the A20, and not until Apple completely dominates all computing, with everyone having drank the filesystems-are-bad Kool Aid, and with Microsoft as a subsidiary.

I'm talking about running OS X on an ARM chip, not running iOS on a laptop. Apple could update Xcode and require a recompile with some tweaking to allow programs to run on it. Not saying they would do this, but a power sipping entry-level, lower poweed device would fit a niche.
post #27 of 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rogifan View Post


I guess you'll just have to go elsewhere as there's no indication Apple is relieving Mr Ive of his duties.

Nowhere else to go.  Everything else is much, much worse.  And you are right, it's hard to get rid of someone like that, that has been patiently waiting for years to get his own agenda fulfilled.  

 

I have been all Apple for an awful lot of years (like since the first 512k Mac).  And it's just a disappointment to see Apple starting a downhill slide again.  You may not have even been alive during the "bad years" but, trust me, they were bad.  But I'm not so stupid as to defect to the world of MSFT.

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post #28 of 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rogifan View Post


Just curious why you think the mini is like MBA? What can the full size iPad do that the mini can't?

It's more something that the Mini can do that the full-size can't: be a comfortable e-reader. I think that is something they will want to maintain, and that means not increasing the weight or lessening the battery hours (that extreme importance of lightness is why I think it's like the Air).

 

Retina screens use quite a bit more power, and that means either a bigger, heavier battery or less hours. Unless there is some new screen tech they have found that uses less power of course...

post #29 of 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marvin View Post



What if it hits the margins too hard though? It helps to have a Mini at $329 to be price competitive with cheaper eBook readers. That price point doesn't give much room to move in terms of quality. Say they get 30% margins from those, that means to build it costs just $230 for a processor, RAM, storage, display, metal casing, dual cameras, battery. A high-res display might have $50 extra costs because of lower yields or higher cost materials and that would either drop margins below 15% or increase the price to $399, neither of which are good.



If staying non-Retina is the only way to stay price-competitive and maintain margins, they should stick to it, same as with the Macbook Air. They could perhaps have the larger capacity models Retina so for example:



16GB non-Retina: $329

32GB Retina: $429

64GB Retina $529



I don't know what exact prices they'd need to make it worthwhile but it would serve to push people up the price scale rather than give too much quality on the entry model, which would lower the average selling price. This is where the latest iPhone works as it is clearly pushing people up to the 5S, which has a higher price rather than down to the 5C. This is great for Apple.

 



The difference between the 5c and 5s is minute compared to an XGA Mini and a Retina Maxi. If they don't make a Retina Mini, they won't be getting my $, nor a lot of other peoples'. I am a serial Apple device buyer, but the only interesting possibility in the iPad lineup this time around is a Retina mini.
post #30 of 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by jkichline View Post



I'm talking about running OS X on an ARM chip, not running iOS on a laptop. Apple could update Xcode and require a recompile with some tweaking to allow programs to run on it. Not saying they would do this, but a power sipping entry-level, lower poweed device would fit a niche.

 



I think this would confuse the form factors, and give most people a lot of pause. It's TOO MANY options. Also, the difference between OS X and iOS is the software ecosystem. iOS == Arm ecosystem, OS X == x86 ecosystem. OS X on Arm == no software.

And if you hadn't realized, OS X on Arm was already market tested. It was called the Surface RT. Fail.
Edited by kustardking - 10/19/13 at 9:12pm
post #31 of 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by ascii View Post
 

The iPad Mini is analogous to the Macbook Air - ultraportable, battery weight being a primary concern, and Retina would eat more battery.

 

I think Apple still regards Retina as a pro feature for this year at least. The Macbook Pro has it, The Mac Pro will in a few days (Phil spoke about 4K monitors at WWDC), but the iMac and Macbook Air were both recently updated without it.

Every Iphone is Retina...  Has been for a year.   I don't think Apple considers it a 'pro' feature, but a 'performance envelope' issue.  Apple won't sacrifice weight or battery life, or in the iMac example, heat/price points.

.

post #32 of 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sky King View Post
 

iOA 7 is not only crappy on non-retina screens it will be equally crappy on retina.  It will still have the same UI deficiencies and until someone gets rid of Mr Ive it is not likely we will get relief from this.

 

To say nothing of the fact that iCal and Reminders are not reliable in their function.

SIR Jonathan Ive to you...;) KBE and all that.

post #33 of 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by kustardking View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by jkichline View Post



I'm talking about running OS X on an ARM chip, not running iOS on a laptop. Apple could update Xcode and require a recompile with some tweaking to allow programs to run on it. Not saying they would do this, but a power sipping entry-level, lower poweed device would fit a niche.

 



I think this would confuse the form factors, and give most people a lot of pause. It's TOO MANY options. Also, the difference between OS X and iOS is the software ecosystem. iOS == Arm ecosystem, OS X == x86 ecosystem. OS X on Arm == no software.

And if you hadn't realized, OS X on Arm was already market tested. It was called the Surface RT. Fail.

Apple has done this successfully in the past. They transitioned almost seamlessly from PowerPC chips to Intel and even more often from 32 to 64 bit. Recently they unveiled a brand new, 64 bit processor and I compiled my app to it in about 2 hours and submitted. What I'm saying is that Apple has the ability to jump chips, if they determined it was in their best interests. All the same software would still work with a little heads up for the developers.

The Surface RT failed because it's a terrible form factor. It's a tablet that required (basically) a keyboard to function but the keyboard requires you use it on a table. Defeats the purpose of a tablet. It also was released NOT supporting programs that would normally run on Windows and they had almost no developer support.

What I'm suggesting is NOT a tablet/laptop hybrid since that is the worst of both worlds. What I am suggesting is a device where Apple owns the processor architecture and has all the same programs and function of OS X because it *is* OS X.

I wouldn't use MS failures as a basis for if Apple should do something. Microsoft originally failed at the smartphone as well as the original tablet computer. Need I mention Zune or WebTV? Apple can do things MS can't and I'd like to see them show the tech world again how it's done.
post #34 of 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by jkichline View Post

I still believe Apple will keep the non-Retina mini and reduce the price slightly to $299+, add the Retina mini model for $399+, and the full size for $499+. iPad 2 is no longer filling the $399 slot so it follows Apple's model of shrinking size but increasing resolution. Mini's will feature A6 and A6X accordingly. 9.7" iPad can expect an A7X processor.
I sure hope not. I think Apple needs to be aggressive about deploying 64-bit A7 processors in all iOS devices going forward. Only a supply issue could be why no A7 in the next iPad mini. Perhaps you're right for that reason.

Six x 3.5GHz '14 MP, 64GB, 1TB PCIe, 16TB HDs
2.6GHz 6GB 17"HD LED MBP, Sony 52XBR6 HDTV
EyeTV 500, Hybrid 2G, EyeTV 3 HDTV Recorder
64 ATT iPhone 5S, 128 ATT iPad Air, 128 ATT iPad miniRetina, 16...

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Six x 3.5GHz '14 MP, 64GB, 1TB PCIe, 16TB HDs
2.6GHz 6GB 17"HD LED MBP, Sony 52XBR6 HDTV
EyeTV 500, Hybrid 2G, EyeTV 3 HDTV Recorder
64 ATT iPhone 5S, 128 ATT iPad Air, 128 ATT iPad miniRetina, 16...

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post #35 of 72
Quote:
I am a serial Apple device buyer, but the only interesting possibility in the iPad lineup this time around is a Retina mini.
Me too. But I'm not buying anything without an A7 M7 inside. So while retina mini is one factor, for me, A7 M7 is required for me to pull the trigger on a mini. Also note the 9.7" iPad 5 will likely only weigh one pound vs the 1.5 pound 4th gen. So it's going to be a LOT LIGHTER and much closer to the weight of the iPad mini this time round.

Six x 3.5GHz '14 MP, 64GB, 1TB PCIe, 16TB HDs
2.6GHz 6GB 17"HD LED MBP, Sony 52XBR6 HDTV
EyeTV 500, Hybrid 2G, EyeTV 3 HDTV Recorder
64 ATT iPhone 5S, 128 ATT iPad Air, 128 ATT iPad miniRetina, 16...

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Six x 3.5GHz '14 MP, 64GB, 1TB PCIe, 16TB HDs
2.6GHz 6GB 17"HD LED MBP, Sony 52XBR6 HDTV
EyeTV 500, Hybrid 2G, EyeTV 3 HDTV Recorder
64 ATT iPhone 5S, 128 ATT iPad Air, 128 ATT iPad miniRetina, 16...

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post #36 of 72

Please let the new MBPs have TB2 (and therefore 4K external monitor support). Are there any other laptops on the market at the moment that support 4K external monitor? It could be another Apple first.

 

Edit: and all those people who say "Why would you want Thunderbolt, USB3 is just as good!" would be like "Oh, maybe it's not as good."


Edited by ascii - 10/20/13 at 2:28am
post #37 of 72
Hope they still will release an iPad Mini Retina with an A7X inside along with an upgraded wifi 802.11 ac.
post #38 of 72

If Apple reduces the price of iPad mini 1st gen to $229, even for a short period, I'm buying two (for small kids).

post #39 of 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by ascii View Post

Please let the new MBPs have TB2 (and therefore 4K external monitor support). Are there any other laptops on the market at the moment that support 4K external monitor? It could be another Apple first.

Edit: and all those people who say "Why would you want Thunderbolt, USB3 is just as good!" would be like "Oh, maybe it's not as good."

I'm pretty sure the hold up with the Haswell MBPs is because of the TB2 chips. Since Apple was heavily pimping B2 and 4K display support with the new Mac Pros back at WWDC I can't imagine they would wait an additional year to offer TB2 to their Pro notebook lineup.
post #40 of 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by ascii View Post

It's more something that the Mini can do that the full-size can't: be a comfortable e-reader. I think that is something they will want to maintain, and that means not increasing the weight or lessening the battery hours (that extreme importance of lightness is why I think it's like the Air).

Retina screens use quite a bit more power, and that means either a bigger, heavier battery or less hours. Unless there is some new screen tech they have found that uses less power of course...
You mention e-reading, well isnt that what retina displays are really great for - rendering sharp, crisp text? How are Asus and Amazon able to make 7" devices with great screens and not a huge hit to weight or battery? AnandTech claims the new Nexus 7 gets 12 hours battery life and weight is similar to mini. Why is it so difficult for Apple? The excuses for not having a retina mini are getting weaker and weaker. And if Apple doesn't announce one next week, especially if they just update the current mini with A6 or whatever and keep the price the same, I think it will be a big FAIL on their part. I'm sure Google and Amazon have ads ready to go letting everyone know their cheaper devices have much better displays.
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