Rumor: Next-gen iPad mini to boast high-resolution display

Posted:
in General Discussion edited January 2014
Apple is rumored to be focusing on upgrading the resolution of its recently released iPad mini to Retina display specifications, with the changes said to be arriving in the next generation of the small form factor tablet's next generation.

iPad mini unboxing
Comparison of iPad pixel densities. From top: iPad without Retina, iPad with Retina, iPad mini.


The fresh rumors come from Taiwanese publication DigiTimes, which cited sources from the backlighting industry as saying Apple's next-gen iPad mini will boast a higher resolution display. It is not yet clear if the 7.9-inch tablet will feature a screen on-par with current Retina offerings, but "market observers" said a HiDPI display is likely the next step for the mini.

If the rumors are true, the next-generation tablet will move to a resolution of 2,048 by 1,536 pixels, which would yield a higher pixel density than the full-size iPad's 264 ppi due to the discrepancy in screen size.

Sources also said Apple will be modifying the 9.7-inch iPad's existing LED backlighting system, going from dual light bars to one in an effort to cut weight and slim down the tablet's profile.

Although DigiTimes has a spotty record when it comes to forecasting upcoming Apple products, the publication's sources in the display industry are a bit more reliable. In October, it correctly noted that AU Optronics would be tapped as a suppler of the current generation of iPad mini displays, while a second report said weak yields were delaying the release of the iPad mini, 13-inch MacBook Pro with Retina display and the new iMac.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 76
    chris_cachris_ca Posts: 2,543member
    and it will be released in time for Valentine's Day!
    "Show your partner true love with a new iPad mini with Retina display!"

    (with a video playing of a beating heart ripped from a previous iPad mini buyer...):D
  • Reply 2 of 76
    daharderdaharder Posts: 1,580member
    *sigh*
  • Reply 3 of 76
    gtrgtr Posts: 3,231member
    And it will be faster.

    And more recently released.

    And it will have an Apple logo on the rear.

    This crystall ball thing is fun!
  • Reply 4 of 76


    Wow, whoda thunk it!


     


    I hear the next Macbook Pro will have a faster processer than the old one, too.


     


    And the Macbook Air will weigh slightly less!


     


    And the iTunes store will have even more music in the future!

  • Reply 5 of 76


    Well we'll just file this one under D, for 'DUUUUUUUUUUUUHHHHHHHH!!"


     


    Seriously, AI, did this "rumor" really require a write up?

  • Reply 6 of 76
    I'd like to come up with a suitably sarcastic banal comment but I'm afraid it is just not possible to top the headline which is already a self parody.

    I love this bit[I] "with the changes said to be arriving in the next generation of the small form factor tablet's next generation"[/I] because I would have thought the changes would be arrive before the next generation.
  • Reply 7 of 76
    As an owner of an iPhone and MPB that both have retina displays, I wouldn't buy the iPad Mini, it seems like a step backwards. Given the premium price of the Mini it should really include a retina display. That must be hurting sales because people know the current model will be replaced with an update that has a better display.
  • Reply 8 of 76


    The next iPad mini most likely will not have a Retina display.  The one after that most likely will.


     


    Quiet possibly the most moronic thing someone could speculate about the mini is that a Retina display is coming.  Of course it is.  People are acting like as if Apple either 1) forgot about the Retina or 2) thought they could sell more by having people buy the non-Retina now and then upgrade soon.


     


    Neither is the case.


     


    There is no Retina display to go into the iPad mini.  Possible display companies are in development for this, but none are predicting to have samples available to Apple for at least a year (and these estimates are getting pushed back).  Still, people are spouting off that Apple will magically produce a mini Retina with BS estimates as early as 6 months (from the original release of the mini).


     


    Even once the mini Retina displays are offered as samples for evaluation, there's still the issue of production yields, cost, and impact on battery life.


     


    People don't realize how hard the iPad 3 and 4 pushed the envelope with being a Retina display and that the mini would need to push the envelope that much further with a much higher PPI while having a smaller battery and a lower expected price point.


     


    I've had every iPhone and every iPad including the iPad 4 and the iPad mini.  I love them both, but spend more time with the iPad mini despite its lack of a Retina display.  When the mini Retina comes out, I'll gladly upgrade, but I'm not holding my breath.

  • Reply 9 of 76
    I was seconds away from buying the iPad mini for my wife for Christmas but all the stores were sold out of the one I want. I knew that a retina version would likely be coming out next year so I backed off. I'll get her something else for Christmas and buy her the retina iPad mini when it comes out in 2013. In our family, we all have iPhone 4's and I have a rMBP. Once you go Retina, everything else looks like crap.
  • Reply 10 of 76
    [B]BREAKING NEWS![/B]

    The next generationg thing will have a better thing!
  • Reply 11 of 76
    haarhaar Posts: 563member
    [B]Inconceivable!...[/B]

    so, how are they going to get an A6x in a iPad mini?... and at 330 ... the the iPad mini becomes a loss-leader... or if you add the cost of the A6x and the Retina display to the cost of an iPad mini you are in the ballpark of the cost of a NEW iPad, so what is the point?
    i say Apple should wait in the "wings" until a so-called-Competitor brings out a "retina" 7-8 inch tablet. (then Apple crushes them with their Superior Tablet)
    why should apple retool a manufacturing plant so that their cheap-Competition can bring out a retina display...
    How about Samsung releases a 7" GALAXY tab in 2048 resolution(WITHOUT PENTILE) ?' ...with the added display Capacity that they will have after they dump Apple, it should be no problem for Samsung to release a 2048x1536 galaxy tab 7... LOL

    [B]TL;DR ... Inconceivable!...[/B]

    it isn't impossible to release a retina iPad mini because adding together iPod touch screens, in a 2x2 matrix, will get you that retina iPad mini, but at the cost of a New iPad... so the cost of the iPad Mini will have to increase...
  • Reply 12 of 76


    Doesn't sound like much innovation...guess that's why the stock is on the decline.

  • Reply 13 of 76
    robflip71 wrote: »
    Doesn't sound like much innovation...guess that's why the stock is on the decline.
    You guess wrong.
  • Reply 14 of 76
    rogifanrogifan Posts: 10,669member
    I'm mor waiting for the 9.7" iPad with the mini's form factor. Now that would be killer. :smokey:
  • Reply 15 of 76
    kevtkevt Posts: 195member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by macslut View Post


    The next iPad mini most likely will not have a Retina display.  The one after that most likely will.


     


    Quiet possibly the most moronic thing someone could speculate about the mini is that a Retina display is coming.  Of course it is.  People are acting like as if Apple either 1) forgot about the Retina or 2) thought they could sell more by having people buy the non-Retina now and then upgrade soon.


     


    Neither is the case.


     


    There is no Retina display to go into the iPad mini.  Possible display companies are in development for this, but none are predicting to have samples available to Apple for at least a year (and these estimates are getting pushed back).  Still, people are spouting off that Apple will magically produce a mini Retina with BS estimates as early as 6 months (from the original release of the mini).


     


    Even once the mini Retina displays are offered as samples for evaluation, there's still the issue of production yields, cost, and impact on battery life.


     


    People don't realize how hard the iPad 3 and 4 pushed the envelope with being a Retina display and that the mini would need to push the envelope that much further with a much higher PPI while having a smaller battery and a lower expected price point.


     


    I've had every iPhone and every iPad including the iPad 4 and the iPad mini.  I love them both, but spend more time with the iPad mini despite its lack of a Retina display.  When the mini Retina comes out, I'll gladly upgrade, but I'm not holding my breath.



     


    The 'problem' Apple faces is expectations to keep the iPad Apps working sweetly without modification. This means it has to go either 1024x768 (iPad 1 & 2) or quadruple the pixel count with the 2048x1536 of the 9.7" models.  The latter would give a 326 dpi screen, which is more than Retina on a tablet.


    This is overkill - given the 'as good as the human retina' concept. As you imply it would require an A5X or A6X processor for the graphics, and give power (and possibly heat) issues in the smaller case.


     


    There was no middle ground without either compromising the App experience or requiring developers to adapt the Apps for a new resolution.


     


    But if the latter was possible, then there would be a middle option. Take the mid-way one a scale factor of 1.5 - 1536x1152 in 7.9" makes 245 dpi - almost that of the iPad4. I'm not sure it could be called 'Retina' but if not it's as close as dammit. It would require less graphics processing power - maybe a standard A6 would cope, maintaining processor efficiency. But it would require work from developers, and more resources in the Apps for this screen size.

  • Reply 16 of 76
    yaliyali Posts: 12member


    because of following reason:


    1. Cost would go up considerably


    2. PPI will be the best of all, which will definitly not appear first in a low end device


    3. Battery life will suffer badly, from 10 hours to 2.5 hours


    4. CPU needs to be 4 times more power to handle 4 times more pixles

  • Reply 17 of 76
    yaliyali Posts: 12member
    Next Generation iPad mini wont have a retina display
    because of the following reasons:

    1. Cost would go up considerably

    2. PPI will be the best of all, which will definitly not appear first in a low end device

    3. Battery life will suffer badly, from 10 hours to 2.5 hours

    4. CPU needs to be 4 times more power to handle 4 times more pixles
  • Reply 18 of 76
    doh123doh123 Posts: 323member
    I have a iphone 5, and a Retina MacBook Pro, and I think my mini screen looks just fine... I don't get the complaints.
  • Reply 19 of 76
    jmc54jmc54 Posts: 202member


    Thats not so much a rumor as *DUH"


     

  • Reply 20 of 76
    solipsismxsolipsismx Posts: 19,566member
    kevt wrote: »
    The 'problem' Apple faces is expectations to keep the iPad Apps working sweetly without modification. This means it has to go either <span style="color:rgb(51,51,51);font-family:'Lucida Grande', 'Lucida Sans Unicode', Helvetica, Arial, Verdana, sans-serif;font-size:12px;line-height:20px;">1024x768 (iPad 1 & 2) or quadruple the pixel count with the 2048x1536 of the 9.7" models.  The latter would give a 326 dpi screen, which is more than Retina on a tablet.</span>

    This is overkill - given the 'as good as the human retina' concept. As you imply it would <span style="color:rgb(51,51,51);font-family:'Lucida Grande', 'Lucida Sans Unicode', Helvetica, Arial, Verdana, sans-serif;font-size:12px;line-height:20px;">require an A5X or A6X processor for the graphics, and give power (and possibly heat) issues in the smaller case.</span>


    <span style="color:rgb(51,51,51);font-family:'Lucida Grande', 'Lucida Sans Unicode', Helvetica, Arial, Verdana, sans-serif;font-size:12px;line-height:20px;">There was no middle ground without either compromising the App experience or requiring developers to adapt the Apps for a new resolution.</span>


    But if the latter was possible, then<span style="color:rgb(51,51,51);font-family:'Lucida Grande', 'Lucida Sans Unicode', Helvetica, Arial, Verdana, sans-serif;font-size:12px;line-height:20px;"> there would be a middle option. Take the mid-way one a scale factor of 1.5 - 1536x1152 in 7.9" makes 245 dpi - almost that of the</span>
    <span style="color:rgb(51,51,51);font-family:'Lucida Grande', 'Lucida Sans Unicode', Helvetica, Arial, Verdana, sans-serif;font-size:12px;line-height:20px;"> </span>
    <span style="color:rgb(51,51,51);font-family:'Lucida Grande', 'Lucida Sans Unicode', Helvetica, Arial, Verdana, sans-serif;font-size:12px;line-height:20px;">iPad4. I'm not sure it could be called 'Retina' but if not it's as close as dammit. It</span>
    <span style="color:rgb(51,51,51);font-family:'Lucida Grande', 'Lucida Sans Unicode', Helvetica, Arial, Verdana, sans-serif;font-size:12px;line-height:20px;"> would require less graphics processing power - maybe a standard A6 would cope, maintaining processor efficiency. But it would require work from developers, and more resources in the Apps for this screen size.</span>

    Matching the iPad's PPI will still make it pixel-to-pixel incompatible to iPad apps so going double resolution (2048x1536) is the only sensible solution.

    All signs point to it being technically possible once Imagination Tech's Rogue 6 GPU lands. That should be out in quantity the 2nd half of 2013. However, note they gave the iPad mini the 2011 HW, save for the 32nm lithography, so it seems as though they plan on keeping the iPad mini a year behind like with the iPod Touch. They could change this up by only using the modern GPU on the ASIC but that comes with additional costs for a product that is already assumed to be the reason Apple's profit margins are to be lower this quarter.

    On top of that, I'm not convinced that Rogue 6 is enough to allow for the 2048x1536 display to still get the same battery life without becoming a thicker and heavier device; something I don't think is as acceptable for the iPod mini and something that would be much more noticeable because of it's already diminutive size.

    2014 seems like the most likely date to me.
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