Yield issues to keep Apple from building Retina iPad mini until October - report

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Comments

  • Reply 21 of 81
    solipsismxsolipsismx Posts: 19,566member
    steven n. wrote: »
    HTC One. Super LCD 3 that is a very capable and high quality display. But I agree with OLED/PenTile. Simply horrid and not to mention the hideous colors. 

    You can't just look at PPI. If you are talking about difficultly in producing a display you also need to consider all the other aspects I mentioned. For instance, the iPad mini has over 3x the dispaly area of the HTC One and would have over 50% more pixels at 3.1 million v 2 million for a Retina iPad mini. On top of that, how many units will HTC make of the One compared to how many Apple will need to make of an iPad mini, especially if it's Retina and selling at $329, assuming the price doesn't change like with 9.7" iPad. It would be folly to assume Apple can do anything* especially after the issues with the iMac displays (which are only 109 PPI).



    * Not suggesting you have or would say that, just covering my bases since it's often any manufacturing difficulties are often responded to in that way when it comes to Apple.
  • Reply 22 of 81
    johndoe98johndoe98 Posts: 278member
    solipsismx wrote: »
    steven n. wrote: »
    HTC One. Super LCD 3 that is a very capable and high quality display. But I agree with OLED/PenTile. Simply horrid and not to mention the hideous colors. 

    You can't just look at PPI. If you are talking about difficultly in producing a display you also need to consider all the other aspects I mentioned. For instance, the iPad mini has over 3x the dispaly area of the HTC One and would have over 50% more pixels at 3.1 million v 2 million for a Retina iPad mini. On top of that, how many units will HTC make of the One compared to how many Apple will need to make of an iPad mini, especially if it's Retina and selling at $329, assuming the price doesn't change like with 9.7" iPad. it would be folly to assume Apple can do anything* especially after the issues with the iMac displays (which are only 109 PPI).



    * Not suggesting you have or would say that, just covering my bases since it's often any manufacturing difficulties are often responded to in that way when it comes to Apple.

    Well what is confusing to many of us is that if Apple can produce Retina screens at smaller sizes in large yields, and produce Retina screens at larger sizes in large yields, what is so dam special about the iPad's Mini size? Is there something special about a 7.9" screen? And here, if I'm not misunderstanding you, and I'm posting this only to help clarify things, the issue isn't so much making a 7.9" Retina screen as it is creating a 7.9" Retina screen that will not require dramatic changes to the battery size of the iPad mini. But the question re-emerges, if they can produce iPhones, iPads, and RMBPs with Retina screens, what is so darn special about the iPad mini? Again why is suddenly the battery such a concern in that size and not in all the other configs??
  • Reply 23 of 81


    Oh no..."delayed" to an annual cycle. image


     


    June:


    WWDC, Preview iOS 7 and OS X 10.9


    Release new MacBooks (spec bumps)


    Release new Mac Pro or preview for Summer release


     


    September:


    iPhone 5S - same design, fingerprint sensor, NFC, lowlight camera


     


    October:


    5th-generation iPad (lighter, Mini-inspired design)


    2nd-generation iPad Mini w/ Retina display

    1st-generation iPad Mini down to $269?


     


    2014:


    Apple TV


    iBand


    iPhone 6 with 4.5-inch display


     


    2015: OS Xi, touchscreen Macs

  • Reply 24 of 81


    I can wait until October for a retina iPad mini. There's no way I'm buying the current version.

  • Reply 25 of 81
    vl-tonevl-tone Posts: 337member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by johndoe98 View Post





    Well what is confusing to many of us is that if Apple can produce Retina screens at smaller sizes in large yields, and produce Retina screens at larger sizes in large yields, what is so dam special about the iPad's Mini size? Is there something special about a 7.9" screen? And here, if I'm not misunderstanding you, and I'm posting this only to help clarify things, the issue isn't so much making a 7.9" Retina screen as it is creating a 7.9" Retina screen that will not require dramatic changes to the battery size of the iPad mini. But the question re-emerges, if they can produce iPhones, iPads, and RMBPs with Retina screens, what is so darn special about the iPad mini? Again why is suddenly the battery such a concern in that size and not in all the other configs??


     


    Retina MacBook pros are about 220 dpi, much less density than the 320 dpi on a retina iPad mini. Yes the screens are much bigger but the RMBP are also much more expensive and produced in lesser quantities, and lower yields rates can be absorbed by the higher price. (It can also lead to lower margins, which can lead to lower profits. See last quarter results...) 


     


    The iPad mini is a low-margin, high volume product so Apple can't afford to have low yields on screens for both pricing and production capacity reasons.


     


    The iPhone has also 320dpi but like it was said before, the pixel count and screen area is much lower than a retina iPad mini.


     


    Edit: Sorry, no more edits :)

  • Reply 26 of 81
    solipsismxsolipsismx Posts: 19,566member
    johndoe98 wrote: »
    Well what is confusing to many of us is that if Apple can produce Retina screens at smaller sizes in large yields, and produce Retina screens at larger sizes in large yields, what is so dam special about the iPad's Mini size? Is there something special about a 7.9" screen? And here, if I'm not misunderstanding you, and I'm posting this only to help clarify things, the issue isn't so much making a 7.9" Retina screen as it is creating a 7.9" Retina screen that will not require dramatic changes to the battery size of the iPad mini. But the question re-emerges, if they can produce iPhones, iPads, and RMBPs with Retina screens, what is so darn special about the iPad mini? Again why is suddenly the battery such a concern in that size and not in all the other configs??

    You have to look at the iPad mini product. Retina on the 2010 iPhone 4 was 614,400 pixels and yet the original iPad from that same year has about 30% more pixels. The difficultly then was producing such small pixels. The 2012 iPad (3) when Retina and yet the PPI is still well under that of the Retina iPhone from 2010 but the number of pixels is 3.1 million compared to only 0.7 million on the 2012 iPhone 5 with a 4" display. That shows that you can't compare just one aspect of the displays and their other connected components.

    Adding to that, it wasn't until late 2012 that the iPod Touch received the same display as the iPhone after not even getting an update the previous year. The iPad mini has so far followed the iPod Touch by having lesser components that match flagship product from a year previous. iPad mini has the iPad 2 SoC, and the iPod Touch has the iPhone 4S SoC.

    Finally, consider what Apple did to the iPad (3) to make it work with the Retina display. They made it much heavier and much thicker. I don't think they will do that to the iPad mini because I think weight and size are very important features that make the iPad mini so ideal. They surely have some leeway, but not like they did with the iPad (3) over the iPad 2. On top of that it's the same number of pixels in a much denser area so you can't scale this a percentage of the weight difference as you'd have to add a all the extra components to the much smaller footprint which means even thicker and much heavier over the previous model. The only inexpensive variable we know of is moving from 45nm to 32nm, but that only accounts for so much. They'll have to use other, newer ideas that simply weren't feasible for the iPad (3) a year ago which means they would not follow the iPod Touch upgrade pattern (which Apple has only shown with the 5th gen they are willing to drop by giving the iPod Touch the same display as the iPhone 5).
  • Reply 27 of 81
    charlitunacharlituna Posts: 7,217member
    Aren't these the same guys claiming the Mini would refresh in Apr-May. Interesting that they suddenly have sources about issues right when their reports are likely to be proven false
  • Reply 28 of 81
    ifij775ifij775 Posts: 470member


    I don't think anyone thought they would refresh before then. I'd like to see a bi-annual software update that drives more interest in the devices during the off-season. A software update is far easier to do incrementally than ramp up hardware production. Unfortunately, I don't think this will happen.

  • Reply 29 of 81
    maccherrymaccherry Posts: 924member
    I don't believe a darn thing in this article. Must be a slow news day.
  • Reply 30 of 81
    elmoofoelmoofo Posts: 100member
    The stock price thanks you for your continued baseless speculation. Way to be part of the problem.
  • Reply 31 of 81
    vl-tonevl-tone Posts: 337member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by charlituna View Post



    Aren't these the same guys claiming the Mini would refresh in Apr-May. Interesting that they suddenly have sources about issues right when their reports are likely to be proven false


    Yes probably.


     


    I think that there are two things that Apple has done in 2012 that hurt them by enabling negative stock manipulation :


     


    - The fact that they updated all of their products at the same time at the end of 2012. Knowing that Apple usually has annual refreshes, it got some "analysts" to spread the idea that Apple had peaked and stopped innovating, because they knew very well that Apple would likely not answer back with new products until the later half of 2013.


    - The fact that they exceptionally updated the 9.7" iPad after only 7 months to include the Lightning connector was used as an argument to say that Apple had switched to a bi-annual update cycle, spreading rumours that there would be late spring updates for the iPads and iPhones. Those rumours would likely create disappointment when it became clear it was not going to happen, as well as an occasion to create false rumours of "production problems" and delays.

  • Reply 32 of 81
    Call it like it is. This guys a f'n idiot. "Low cost iPad mini". A new supply chain for a low cost iPad mini? What in apples history have we ever seen it like he's described. Low cost is old model. I only see iPhone ever possibly getting that treatment.
  • Reply 33 of 81
    johndoe98johndoe98 Posts: 278member
    solipsismx wrote: »
    Finally, consider what Apple did to the iPad (3) to make it work with the Retina display. They made it much heavier and much thicker. I don't think they will do that to the iPad mini because I think weight and size are very important features that make the iPad mini so ideal. They surely have some leeway, but not like they did with the iPad (3) over the iPad 2. On top of that it's the same number of pixels in a much denser area so you can't scale this a percentage of the weight difference as you'd have to add a all the extra components to the much smaller footprint which means even thicker and much heavier over the previous model. The only inexpensive variable we know of is moving from 45nm to 32nm, but that only accounts for so much. They'll have to use other, newer ideas that simply weren't feasible for the iPad (3) a year ago which means they would not follow the iPod Touch upgrade pattern (which Apple has only shown with the 5th gen they are willing to drop by giving the iPod Touch the same display as the iPhone 5).

    Thanks for the reply Solip. While the many of the other points were interesting and relevant, I kept thinking of counter-examples. I think the section I highlighted from your reply is what finally convinced me. In all the other cases the PPI was changing in accordance with the screen size, so the RMBPs how lower PPIs, and the iPhone could have a higher one, but in this case, it isn't that simple. They need a higher PPI in a 7.9" screen versus the bigger iPad, but they also need to maintain the same resolution, so the jump is bigger than simply transitioning to the likes of an iPhone screen. Once they decided to run the iPad Mini with the same resolution as the full iPad they made their task harder to include a Retina level screen for that device since the only option now is to increase the PPI of the screen while maintaining the resolution. It works on the iPhone since though they increase PPI they also decrease the resolution (they trade one for the other). But here there can be no trade off. So it's no longer simply a matter of scaling the screen, batteries, or potentially throttling an A5X chip that could be include to reduce power consumption. It requires new tech.
  • Reply 34 of 81
    johndoe98johndoe98 Posts: 278member
    vl-tone wrote: »
    The iPhone has also 320dpi but like it was said before, the pixel count and screen area is much lower than a retina iPad mini.

    Edit: Sorry, no more edits :)

    Right now I get it. There are two variables to track, not simply PPI but total number of pixels. In the past we saw total number of pixels decrease as PPI went up, and PPI decrease as total pixels went up. But the iPad Mini has to maintain the same total pixels as the iPad while increasing the PPI since it is presumably held closer, since it is smaller. So neither the iPhone screen (higher PPI), nor the iPad screen (higher total pixels) is good enough for the Mini. The iPad only needs 264 PPI, but the iPad Mini would need 326 (since it has 163, it would need to double it). So it needs the same PPI as the iPhone while pushing a far greater resolution on it.
  • Reply 35 of 81
    solipsismxsolipsismx Posts: 19,566member
    johndoe98 wrote: »
    Right now I get it. There are two variables to track, not simply PPI but total number of pixels. In the past we saw total number of pixels decrease as PPI went up, and PPI decrease as total pixels went up. But the iPad Mini has to maintain the same total pixels as the iPad while increasing the PPI since it is presumably held closer, since it is smaller. So neither the iPhone screen (higher PPI), nor the iPad screen (higher total pixels) is good enough for the Mini. The iPad only needs 264 PPI, but the iPad Mini would need 326 (since it has 163, it would need to double it). So it needs the same PPI as the iPhone while pushing a far greater resolution on it.

    1) The PPI and number of pixels are tied to each other for a given display size. If you quadruple the number of pixel as in doubling the resolution so that you can scale one pixel to 4 pixels you double the pixels per inch as a result because that is a measure of area, like like with the resolution.

    2) I don't think Apple has any consideration that the iPad mini might be held closer than the 10" iPad. The choice for the 7.85" display is no secret. It was chosen because at 1024x768 (same as resolution as original iPad) it would be 163 PPI (same as the original iPhone). That allows them to take all those machines and all that expertise and apply it to this new product which greatly reduces cost. This also will allow them to make 2048x1536 displays at 7.85' that will then be at the same as PPI as the iPhone 4. Yes, this means they will be able to reduce costs per pixel over their first iPhones with the Retina displays back in 2010 for the reasons but there is still the other HW costs that you can't simply can't get around will require one of the two paths previous stated in this thread for each corresponding component.

    3) I trust Apple to deliver a product that balances the pros and cons well for the best possible user experience instead of focusing on a single item that looks good on a spec sheet so I'm not worried about it. When it all lines up they'll release it... but i hop it's this year and without a price hike.
  • Reply 36 of 81
    mj1970mj1970 Posts: 9,002member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by JeffDM View Post



    I don't think people should expect updates more often than once a year. Sometimes they happen, but it looks to me they set a general pattern all iDevices will be updated Sept-Oct. of every year. iPods were updated around then for many years already, I think iPad and iPhone were recently put on that cycle, with iPhones pushed to Fall two years ago, and iPads pushed to Fall last year.


     


    I'll be a little surprised if they shift all iDevice updates/announcements to the same timeframe. A couple of reasons:


     



    1. The logistics of managing multiple engineering, manufacturing, sales and distribution projects for multiple projects all at one time increases risk.


    2. The marketing message gets overloaded. Apple likes to keep their message simple and focused.


     


    A while back it seemed like Apple was lining up a schedule that looked something like this:


     



    • January/Winter: Mac launch


    • April/Spring: iPad launch


    • June/Summer: iPhone launch


    • September/Fall: iPod launch


     


    This would have been brilliant for a couple of reasons:


     



    1. Spread the engineering, manufacturing, sales and distribution logistics more evenly through the year.


    2. Keep sales moving and thriving through the whole year.


    3. Keep people and the media talking about some Apple product all year.


     


    Now, granted, this has shifted around and is less clear with some off-cycle updates having occurred, and with certain products starting to fade in prominence (e.g., Mac, iPod) while others dominating their profits and sales (e.g., iPad and iPhone) they may chose a different pattern.


     


    The other factor at play is when they want certain products to be clearly dominant in people's minds. For example, iPad is a great consumer/Christmas gift product (like iPod used to be.) Fall makes a lot of sense for that announcement and release.


     


    Then, of course, technology and manufacturing don't always cooperate with these plans.

  • Reply 37 of 81
    steven n.steven n. Posts: 1,226member
    vl-tone wrote: »
    Retina MacBook pros are about 220 dpi, much less density than the 320 dpi on a retina iPad mini. Yes the screens are much bigger but the RMBP are also much more expensive and produced in lesser quantities, and lower yields rates can be absorbed by the higher price. (It can also lead to lower margins, which can lead to lower profits. See last quarter results...) 

    The iPad mini is a low-margin, high volume product so Apple can't afford to have low yields on screens for both pricing and production capacity reasons.

    The iPhone has also 320dpi but like it was said before, the pixel count and screen area is much lower than a retina iPad mini.

    Edit: Sorry, no more edits :)

    My issue is with the analysts. They have no evidence of low yield. They have no evidence of delayed shipping. Yes, it is obvious smaller panels are easier to get good yield on. Yes, it is obvious lower PPI is easier to make.
  • Reply 38 of 81
    flaneurflaneur Posts: 4,526member
    Ming-Chi Kuo is from Taiwan, right? He may be better connected to sources than the average "analyst."

    One possible issue with the retina screens for the mini would involve the IGZO question. Seems likely that keeping down weight and battery size will require this breakthrough. Maybe he can't talk about this without jeopardizing his sources.

    Active imagination, I know . . .
  • Reply 39 of 81
    jeffdmjeffdm Posts: 12,951member
    mj1970 wrote: »
    I'll be a little surprised if they shift all iDevice updates/announcements to the same timeframe. A couple of reasons:
    1. The logistics of managing multiple engineering, manufacturing, sales and distribution projects for multiple projects all at one time increases risk.
    2. The marketing message gets overloaded. Apple likes to keep their message simple and focused.

    A while back it seemed like Apple was lining up a schedule that looked something like this:
    • January/Winter: Mac launch
    • April/Spring: iPad launch
    • June/Summer: iPhone launch
    • September/Fall: iPod launch

    This would have been brilliant for a couple of reasons:
    1. Spread the engineering, manufacturing, sales and distribution logistics more evenly through the year.
    2. Keep sales moving and thriving through the whole year.
    3. Keep people and the media talking about some Apple product all year.

    Now, granted, this has shifted around and is less clear with some off-cycle updates having occurred, and with certain products starting to fade in prominence (e.g., Mac, iPod) while others dominating their profits and sales (e.g., iPad and iPhone) they may chose a different pattern.

    The other factor at play is when they want certain products to be clearly dominant in people's minds. For example, iPad is a great consumer/Christmas gift product (like iPod used to be.) Fall makes a lot of sense for that announcement and release.

    Then, of course, technology and manufacturing don't always cooperate with these plans.

    I think your arguments have a lot merit, but I also think they they've had years of practice converging the iDevice updates. A refresh of most of the iPod line has happened every Fall since about 2006. What they didn't refresh was often held over for the next year at the same time. Then they added the iPhone refresh at the same event, 2011. Then they added a light iPad refresh (A6 + Lightning), plus a brand-new model 2012. Whether or not they will keep doing that, I don't know, but we now know they can. The Christmas shopping season is when they've sold the most units, so having a fresh product line helps them even more.

    To add to that, rolling out all the iOS devices at the same time probably pays off in the logistics of software design, most improvements to iOS can happen on all devices at the same time, so no worries about backporting new features to an early device, or holding features back, and so on. CPU and other updates can help all devices at the same time as well.
  • Reply 40 of 81
    hmmhmm Posts: 3,405member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post







    I could be wrong on all these counts and they may just stick an A5X in there and make it thicker and heavier, or just let the battery suffer. Personally, I hope they go with Rogue this year and don't make the iPad mini a bastard stepchild to the iPad. I think it's too important a product and product category for that.


    I like the mini. The weight is part of it if you use it for a while. You can hold it in any manner with one hand comfortably, which should be possible with a tablet. I would be less concerned with a notebook where it's always placed on something.


    Quote:

    Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post





    Like what? And remember you have to compare displays that are around 320 PPI or above without being PenTile that are using IPS or a comparative high-end panel type with a 178° viewing angle and excellent quality and accuracy that can be produced at iPad mini quantities? I simply don't think anything else falls into that category except for Apple products.


    I haven't looked at the viewing angles, but that is a pretty typical viewing angle claim for IPS displays in recent years. Some have a bit of off angle glow. I could guess what causes that, although I'm not entirely sure.


    Quote:

    Originally Posted by drewyboy View Post



    Call it like it is. This guys a f'n idiot. "Low cost iPad mini". A new supply chain for a low cost iPad mini? What in apples history have we ever seen it like he's described. Low cost is old model. I only see iPhone ever possibly getting that treatment.




    That isn't a fair statement. He tends to be one of the more accurate ones, and I don't see any claims of this being an exact science.

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