New low-cost iPad mini expected to debut alongside Retina model in 2014

Posted:
in iPad edited January 2014
Both an iPad mini with Retina display and an even more affordable iPad mini are said to be in the works at Apple, though the products are not expected to debut until next year.

iPad mini


Analyst Ming-Chi Kuo of KGI Securities doesn't expect Apple to launch any new iPad mini models this year, he said in a research note supplied this week. Instead, he views March or April of next year as the most likely launch window for two new iPad mini models.

If Apple were to debut a low-cost iPad mini this year, it wouldn't be able to hit the market until December at the earliest, according to Kuo. That's because of the current production status of the rumored device, he revealed.

Kuo also doesn't expect the low-cost iPad mini to be considerably cheaper than the current model, which starts at $329.

With a launch no sooner than December and a price not much cheaper than the current options, Kuo believes its likely that Apple will just hold off on releasing a low-cost iPad mini until next year. That way, the company could debut it alongside a new high-end iPad mini with a high-resolution Retina display.

But a Retina display iPad mini isn't in the cards for this year, he said, due to technical issues. Specifically, a 7.9-inch Retina display reportedly consumes too much power, which has required Apple to redesign all components in an effort to improve power efficiency.

iPad mini


Kuo first revealed apparent development issues with a second-generation iPad mini in April.

While he doesn't expect the iPad mini to see a refresh this year, his sources have pegged the launch of a fifth-generation full-size iPad for early September. The new model is expected to feature a thinner and lighter design with a narrow bezel, akin to the current iPad mini.

Kuo said he's "upbeat" on the fifth-generation iPad, which he expects will outpace demand for the previous model based on the new design. Last year saw the introduction of two new iPads: a third-generation model with a high-resolution Retina display, and a fourth-generation variety with an upgraded A6X processor and the new Lightning connector.

The well-connected insider has a strong track record in accurately predicting Apple's future product plans, as he was the first to reveal the discontinuation of the 17-inch MacBook Pro, and the continued availability of the legacy MacBook Pro with optical drive. He also accurately predicted Apple's entire fall 2012 product lineup last August.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 29
    charlitunacharlituna Posts: 7,215member
    If a retina iPad mini uses too much power then they might not release one at all. They could look for other ways to improve the screen or even keep the Mini as a non retina lower price iPad and drop the iPad 2/low cost full size option.

    Who knows at this point. Kuo sure doesn't.
  • Reply 2 of 29
    tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 43,399member
    Oh, come OFF IT. The fact that you didn't get your precious price of $250 doesn't mean there will still be an iPad at that price. It means you get to shut up and start lying about something else now. Worthless analysts.

    What's next, the 2.5" iPhone nano coming back?
  • Reply 3 of 29
    rogifanrogifan Posts: 10,669member
    Is there a reason AI needs to break up this one research note into multiple stories?

    So we're supposed to believe Apple is going to go a year and a half without updating the mini (or reducing the price on the current model)? Seriously?
  • Reply 4 of 29
    cory bauercory bauer Posts: 1,286member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

    If Apple were to debut a low-cost iPad mini this year, it wouldn't be able to hit the market until December at the earliest, according to Kuo. That's because of the current production status of the rumored device, he revealed.



    Kuo also doesn't expect the low-cost iPad mini to be considerably cheaper than the current model, which starts at $329.


     


    Or, you know, they could just keep building the current model as-is and sell it at a lower price point - adding the retina display model at a higher tier when it's ready. 

  • Reply 5 of 29
    rogifanrogifan Posts: 10,669member
    charlituna wrote: »
    If a retina iPad mini uses too much power then they might not release one at all. They could look for other ways to improve the screen or even keep the Mini as a non retina lower price iPad and drop the iPad 2/low cost full size option.

    Who knows at this point. Kuo sure doesn't.
    Not saying I believe any of this, but why is it that other companies can release smaller devices with high res displays but Apple supposedly is having all these struggles with it? There are 7" tablets on the market that have better displays than the mini. How does Amazon (and B&N for gods sake) do it but Apple can't? :\
  • Reply 6 of 29

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Rogifan View Post





    Not saying I believe any of this, but why is it that other companies can release smaller devices with high res displays but Apple supposedly is having all these struggles with it? There are 7" tablets on the market that have better displays than the mini. How does Amazon (and B&N for gods sake) do it but Apple can't? image


     


    Because Apple won't incrementally increase the mini's resolution to something like the Galaxy Note 8's 1280x800. This would make things more complicated for developers who would have yet another resolution/screen ratio to support. Their only option is to double the resolution to 2048x1536. As you might guess, a resolution increase of such magnitude presents significant engineering challenges.


     


    Oh yeah, on top of that, Apple is a lot stricter when it comes to things like viewing angle, colour accuracy, and reflectivity. 


     


    Finally, the mini is quite thin, thinner than the Galaxy. Another significant constraint if they don't want to make the device thicker.

  • Reply 7 of 29
    If Apple can't go Retina with the iPad Mini they can still improve the screen by going full sRGB gamut, improving contrast, and reducing screen reflectance (which DisplayMate found to be worse than the Nexus 7) all of which improve perceived sharpness and display quality without having to actually shrink the pixels.

    And I don't see why Apple would need a new dedicated cheap iPad Mini especially introducing a new one with the old A5. If they need a lower price point, they can just keep the current 16GB A5 iPad Mini on at a lower price point.
  • Reply 8 of 29
    gazoobeegazoobee Posts: 3,754member


    Regardless of whether it's retina or not or what they can or cannot put into it, waiting until 2014 for an update to the mini would seem to be a colossal mistake on the face of it.  


     


    Has there ever been an industry leading, super popular flagship product from Apple that had it's 1.0 version wait this long for an update?  Even if it was the exact same product but with a slightly diff processor or 1GB of RAM instead of the current 512, they should update it before it goes 12 months, let alone 18.  This is an absolutely dumbass move if true IMO. 

  • Reply 9 of 29
    nick29nick29 Posts: 111member
    With all of Apple's billions, it's surprising to hear that they have all of these problems with production. If the Retina Mini doesn't appear until next year it'll be 2-3 years out of sync with the rest of Apple's Retina offerings. I have a Mini and the screen is fine for me, but Apple must not have projected their technological potential and that of their partners well if its come to this. Where are the magical, low-power IGZO displays we've been hearing about for years? There's been talk of Apple investing more in manufacturing capacity, but the component technology has to be there first.
  • Reply 10 of 29
    herbapouherbapou Posts: 2,227member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by ltcommander.data View Post



    If Apple can't go Retina with the iPad Mini they can still improve the screen by going full sRGB gamut, improving contrast, and reducing screen reflectance (which DisplayMate found to be worse than the Nexus 7) all of which improve perceived sharpness and display quality without having to actually shrink the pixels.



    And I don't see why Apple would need a new dedicated cheap iPad Mini especially introducing a new one with the old A5. If they need a lower price point, they can just keep the current 16GB A5 iPad Mini on at a lower price point.


     


    Maybe then want to used those color plastic shells with ipads too.  I am all for cheap minis in colors.


    First time we ear a rumor about low cost ipad's I think.

  • Reply 11 of 29
    herbapouherbapou Posts: 2,227member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Nick29 View Post



    With all of Apple's billions, it's surprising to hear that they have all of these problems with production. If the Retina Mini doesn't appear until next year it'll be 2-3 years out of sync with the rest of Apple's Retina offerings. I have a Mini and the screen is fine for me, but Apple must not have projected their technological potential and that of their partners well if its come to this. Where are the magical, low-power IGZO displays we've been hearing about for years? There's been talk of Apple investing more in manufacturing capacity, but the component technology has to be there first.


     


    imo the new ipad 5 will used IGZO. The thing is capacity must be limited and making those screens for both the mini and the ipad may be too much is they are running into yield problems.

  • Reply 12 of 29
    andysolandysol Posts: 2,506member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by manicakes View Post


    Apple is a lot stricter when it comes to things like viewing angle, colour accuracy, and reflectivity. 



    Well said.


     


     






    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Nick29 View Post



    With all of Apple's billions, it's surprising to hear that they have all of these problems with production.


     



    Its not like we're hearing production problems with the Surface.  That's because nothing sells in volumes like Apple's- hence the production problems.  The iMac on the other hand... that was a big production mistake- hopefully Tim learned his lesson there.

  • Reply 13 of 29
    It took 10 posts to get to mention the fabled IGZO! The pace of IGZO obsession is picking up!
    Unicorn horns are made of IGZO.

    Why do people keep holding Apple accountable to meeting the promises made by the uninformed rumor mill? WHY?
  • Reply 14 of 29
    19831983 Posts: 1,223member
    A new cheaper iPad Mini - why? Seems more likely they'll do the usual Apple thing of reducing the price of the old model to make way for the new one. The current iPad Mini at a reduced price would make excellent value for money. Apart from maybe the standard-res screen there's nothing dated about it at all! A new cheaper version would mean a crappy-chunky plastic case and nobody wants that! Leave that for the iPhone 'lite' thank you very much.
  • Reply 15 of 29
    flaneurflaneur Posts: 4,526member
    gazoobee wrote: »
    Regardless of whether it's retina or not or what they can or cannot put into it, waiting until 2014 for an update to the mini would seem to be a colossal mistake on the face of it.  

    Has there ever been an industry leading, super popular flagship product from Apple that had it's 1.0 version wait this long for an update?  Even if it was the exact same product but with a slightly diff processor or 1GB of RAM instead of the current 512, they should update it before it goes 12 months, let alone 18.  This is an absolutely dumbass move if true IMO. 

    "Dumbass move" — I don't think Apple does trivial spec updates to keep a product line churning through forced obsolescence of the previous model. (That's the way Samsung does business, and GM. ) If sales of the mini have been held back by anything, it's not because of RAM or the procesesor it's because of the display.
    nick29 wrote: »
    With all of Apple's billions, it's surprising to hear that they have all of these problems with production. If the Retina Mini doesn't appear until next year it'll be 2-3 years out of sync with the rest of Apple's Retina offerings. I have a Mini and the screen is fine for me, but Apple must not have projected their technological potential and that of their partners well if its come to this. Where are the magical, low-power IGZO displays we've been hearing about for years? There's been talk of Apple investing more in manufacturing capacity, but the component technology has to be there first.

    I have it on good authority (my imagination) that there is a huge penalty for low yield with IGZO displays: you waste indium, which is in such short supply that Apple has been stockpiling it through dummy enterprises for the last few years.

    Stuff like that. Got a better answer?
  • Reply 16 of 29
    scartartscartart Posts: 196member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by 1983 View Post



    A new cheaper iPad Mini - why? Seems more likely they'll do the usual Apple thing of reducing the price of the old model to make way for the new one. The current iPad Mini at a reduced price would make excellent value for money. Apart from maybe the standard-res screen there's nothing dated about it at all! A new cheaper version would mean a crappy-chunky plastic case and nobody wants that! Leave that for the iPhone 'lite' thank you very much.


    I guess because of margins. Apple has already admitted that the margins on the mini are lower than their other products so they probably cannot lower the price further - just because the product is coming up for a year old doesn't automatically mean it is now substantially cheaper to manufacture. A different model would give them the ability to introduce changes which positively impact their margins, through cheaper/different components or different manufacturing processes etc.

  • Reply 17 of 29
    kevtkevt Posts: 195member
    flaneur wrote: »
    "Dumbass move" — I don't think Apple does trivial spec updates to keep a product line churning through forced obsolescence of the previous model.

    Apple did this with the iPad 4. Only difference with its predecessor was a faster processor.

    This could be done for the mini using an A6 processor, with increased RAM. This would not compromise battery life, heat, thickness etc as the A6 is more power efficient than the A5. It can only have been cost, or the desire to preserve a speed differential in the range as an iPad 4 advantage justifying its a higher price point, that led to an A6 not being used in the mini from the start.

    I'd also like to see improvement of Wifi reception. While not of the same magnitude as iPhone 4 antennaegate, or recent MBA issues, the iPad mini doesn't hold a wifi signal quite as well as an iPhone, or any MacBook does where the signal is poor - say on the edge of the range of a router. The mini isn't 'bad' here, but not up to iPhone standards.
  • Reply 18 of 29
    tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 43,399member
    kevt wrote: »
    Apple did this with the iPad 4. Only difference with its predecessor was a faster processor.

    Nope.
  • Reply 19 of 29
    rogifanrogifan Posts: 10,669member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Nick29 View Post



    With all of Apple's billions, it's surprising to hear that they have all of these problems with production. If the Retina Mini doesn't appear until next year it'll be 2-3 years out of sync with the rest of Apple's Retina offerings. I have a Mini and the screen is fine for me, but Apple must not have projected their technological potential and that of their partners well if its come to this. Where are the magical, low-power IGZO displays we've been hearing about for years? There's been talk of Apple investing more in manufacturing capacity, but the component technology has to be there first.


    We don't know that they are.  This is all just guesses.

  • Reply 20 of 29
    rogifanrogifan Posts: 10,669member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by herbapou View Post


     


    Maybe then want to used those color plastic shells with ipads too.  I am all for cheap minis in colors.


    First time we ear a rumor about low cost ipad's I think.



    As far as I'm concerned getting into a race to the bottom will be death for Apple.  One of the biggest selling points of the iPad mini was the materials it was made out of, the build quality.  Introducing a cheap plastic mini would destroy that product IMO.  Let Android OEM's do cheap crap.

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