Apple pursues iPad Mini with better display, say 'sources'

Apple is in hot pursuit of an iPad Mini with a higher resolution display, according to supply chain gossip.

Consumers expect Apple to upgrade the current iPad Mini to a Retina class display, according to recent comments from NPD DisplaySearch
Consumers expect Apple to upgrade the current iPad Mini to a Retina class display, according to recent comments from NPD DisplaySearch. CNET

The iPad Mini has been an exception to Apple's Retina obsession. But fresh gossip from Asia-based industry sources indicates Apple wants to rectify this.

An upcoming version of the iPad Mini will "focus on enhancing the...display resolution," according to a report at Taipei-based Digitimes. The report cited "backlighting industry" sources.

That's as far as the gossip goes, however. No leaked specs or rumors about display makers ramping up production of new displays.

That said, it jibes with what display analysts have been saying over the last few weeks and previous rumors that claimed display maker AUO is working on a 2,048x1,536 pixel resolution display for the next iPad Mini.

"I think that's highly likely for the progression of that product," Vinita Jakhanwal, a display analyst IHS iSuppli, told CNET last month. "And also the fact that they have a whole ecosystem of apps that have been developed for the [Retina] iPad 3 and iPad 4."

Whether it's feasible for Apple and its display partners to pursue this, is the question. For example, if Apple did a Retina version of the Mini it would be approximately 300 pixels per inch. That's really hard to manufacture and hasn't been done yet for the 7.9-inch class display that Apple uses.

That said, Amazon has come close. The larger Amazon Kindle Fire HD has an 8.9-inch display boasting 254 pixels per inch. By Apple's own definition of pixel density, that's Retina resolution.

Amazon has managed to squeeze a Retina-class display into an 8.9-inch tablet and priced it at $299.  In that sense, they have beat Apple at its own game.
Amazon has managed to squeeze a Retina-class display into an 8.9-inch tablet and priced it at $299. In that sense, they have beat Apple at its own game. Amazon
About the author

Brooke Crothers writes about mobile computer systems, including laptops, tablets, smartphones: how they define the computing experience and the hardware that makes them tick. He has served as an editor at large at CNET News and a contributing reporter to The New York Times' Bits and Technology sections. His interest in things small began when living in Tokyo in a very small apartment for a very long time.

 

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