iPad Mini Retina Display production like last year's model

The display production schedule for the rumored iPad Mini Retina isn't unlike last year's launch of the first-generation iPad Mini, IHS iSuppli told CNET.

The high-resolution version of the iPad Mini could appear as early as the fourth quarter, said an IHS iSuppli analyst, echoing earlier reports.
The high-resolution version of the iPad Mini could appear as early as the fourth quarter, said an IHS iSuppli analyst, echoing earlier reports. Apple

Production of displays for the expected high-resolution version of the iPad Mini is at levels similar to last year's launch of the first-generation iPad Mini, IHS iSuppli told CNET.

"Based [what] we are seeing in the [production] pipeline...The volumes are similar to the iPad Mini that we saw in Q4 of last year," said Vinita Jakhanwal, director of mobile and emerging displays at IHS iSuppli, referring to display production.

The first-gen iPad Mini was launched last November.

The rumored Retina version of the iPad Mini is expected to use a 7.9-inch panel with a resolution of 2,048x1,536 -- the same resolution as the current 9.7-inch iPad 4. Because the display is smaller, however, the pixel density will increase: from 264 pixels-per-inch on the iPad 4 to about 324 ppi on the Mini.

That would be, more or less, the same pixel density as the 7-inch Nexus 7 (gen 2), which has 323 pixels per inch, one of the highest per date for a tablet.

Generally, the higher the pixel density, the sharper the image. The display on the 2013 Nexus 7 has received high marks from reviewers.

LG Display is expected to be the main supplier initially for the Mini Retina, though Sharp is also expected to participate in production, Jakhanwal said. Other reports have also cited Samsung as a supplier as various manufacturers struggle to reach high-volume production of the pixel-dense yet thin display.

AU Optronics (AUO) is already supplying some displays for the Mini, Jakhanwal said. Though it's not clear when AUO might start high-volume production of Retina-class displays for the Mini.

"AUO is supplying a small amount for the Mini. Their technology will have to scale up to do higher resolution. Sharp is always a contender," she said.

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