It looks like the iPad mini 2 shortage rumors may be true. Reuters reported today that "Apple Inc will be unable to widely roll out a new version of the iPad Mini with a high-resolution 'retina' display this month." Supply chain sources have confirmed that the company has just started making Retina displays for the next-generation iPad mini. If true, this means the iPad mini 2 will only be available in limited quantities or not at all during the holidays.
There have been previous rumors that Apple will release an updated iPad mini without Retina display later this month, but it is unlikely.
"If they don't put in retina ... there will be howls," said Frank Gillett, an analyst with Forrester.
Apple fans can expect a lot of upcoming next-generation iPad rumors now that the iPhone 5c and iPhone 5s have been officially announced. The first rumor comes from the French blog MacGeneration, who claims Apple will announce the iPad 5 and iPad mini 2 on October 15th.
The 5th-generation iPad is rumored to be lighter and smaller than its predecessor, and it will feature a thinner bezel like the iPad mini, if any of the previously leaked images can be trusted.
The iPad mini 2 should also get a bump in specs and receive its first Retina display. Apple fans who are still hoping for a more affordable iPad mini model should prepare themselves to be disappointed. Apple proved its disinterest in producing "low-cost" devices with the launch of the iPhone 5c.
If the iPhone 5c has taught us anything, it is that we can now put the low cost iPad mini 2 rumor to bed. To be honest, the "reduced-priced" iPad mini was just wishful thinking on the part of KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo and some Apple fans, but it did make sense when we all thought the iPhone 5c was going to be Apple's budget smartphone.
It is now obvious that Apple has no intention of competing with Google or Amazon in the "low cost" tablet or smartphone market. I guess we all should have seen the writing on the wall when Apple launched the original iPad mini for $329.
KGI-Securities Analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has gone on record predicting Apple has plans to release the iPad 5 and the iPad mini 2 with an A7X processor in time for the upcoming holiday season. Since the A7X will be a significant upgrade from the current A5 processor found in the iPad mini, Kuo believes this indicates the second-generation mini will use a Retina display like its larger counterpart.
Retina displays decrease the amount of pixelation the human eye detects at a normal viewing range while increasing resolution. The analyst’s prediction of the A7X chip in both devices is based on the fact that only an A-Series-X chip is powerful enough to run a Retina display, eliminating an upgrade to an A6. However, some pundits believe this doesn't rule out the possibility of an A6X powered mini.
After posting its strongest customer growth in 4 years, T-Mobile CEO John Legere told AllThingsD that more Apple products are coming to the T-Mobile network.
“I think there’s a whole array of Apple products that we look forward to carrying,” Legere said. “We will expand what we offer from them.”
Legere is most likely referencing Apple's rumored iPhone 5S and low-cost iPhone 5C, but the second part of his statement could mean a T-Mobile iPad is in the works. T-Mobile was one of the last major U.S. cellular providers to carry Apple's iPhone, and it has worked out well for them. T-Mobile added 1.1 million customers after its iPhone 5 debut, and it also sold 4.3 million total smartphones, with the iPhone making up 29 percent of the sales. Of course a lot of T-Mobile's growth also had to do with Samsung's Galaxy S4, and its new Jump and Simple Choice plans.
More alleged iPad 5 parts have leaked online in a new video posted by Mac Otakara. The video supposedly shows a partially assembled iPad 5. We've previously seen leaked images of the rumored next-generation iPad's back panel, but this is the first time anyone has seen it assembled with the front panel. The back panel in the video also features a different looking Apple logo than the previously leaked images.
Apple is expected to announce the fifth-generation iPad along with the iPhone 5S and rumored low-cost iPhone 5C next month. Previous rumors also suggest that Apple could launch a non-Retina iPad mini 2, followed by a Retina display version in early 2014.
Developer Nick Frey has discovered a hidden file in the iOS 7 SDK which lists all the iOS devices that will support Apple's new firmware. His discovery has revealed that Apple is testing a new iPad mini without Retina display. This supports an earlier report by Taiwan's Economic Daily News which claimed the iPad mini's display would not be receiving a bump in resolution in 2013.
Frey told 9to5Mac that the file references three new iPad mini models code named J75, J76, and J77. This means Apple is currently looking at launching another WiFi-only model and two cellular models, which would fall in line with the current iPad mini lineup. The references also suggest that the new alleged iPads will feature the “s5l8950x” processor, or the same A6 chip as the iPhone 5.
The word "mini" greatly differs when it comes to Android and iOS devices these days. HTC recently announced the 4.3-inch HTC One Mini. The new handset is slightly larger than the iPhone 5, but it is also smaller than the now standard 5-inch Android smartphone. Samsung has also released a 4.3-inch "mini" version of its popular Galaxy S4. Both the HTC One and GS4 mini devices make Apple's largest iPhone seem small in comparison. So it makes sense that Apple is exploring iPhone prototypes larger than 4-inches. However, Apple is also mulling over larger iPad prototypes. The Cupertino, California company has asked its suppliers in Asia for "screen designs for a new tablet device measuring slightly less than 13 inches," according to the Wall Street Journal.
Reuters also reported back in June that Apple was considering introducing a 4.7- and 5.7-inch iPhone in the future. Both the WSJ and Reuters claim Apple is taking a cue from its rival Samsung, who offers a variety of products at different prices and sizes. Samsung has taken an "all things to all people" approach releasing four different versions of its Galaxy S4 handset this year. The South Korean company is also launching 7-, 8- and 10.1-inch versions of its Galaxy Tab 3 later this month.
One week after the Economic Daily News reported that the iPad mini 2 would be delayed until 2014, the DigiTimes claims LG will "ship about 2-3 million" Retina panels a month in preparation for Apple's next-generation iPad mini launch in October. The DigiTimes also reports that LG is prepared to ship "2.5-3 million 9.7-inch panels a month for the iPad in the third quarter of 2013."
Several sources, including Taiwan's Economic Daily News, claim otherwise, citing production issues with the supply chain as the reason for Apple's delay. The Economic Daily News previously reported that low yields of second-generation iPad mini Retina displays have caused Apple to push back the tablet's release to 2014. The outlet also suggested that Apple may release an updated and more affodable non-Retina version of the iPad mini for the 2013 holiday shopping season. However, everyone seems to agree Apple will release a new 9.7-inch iPad in 2013.
The iPad mini with Retina display could be delayed until 2014, according to Taiwan's Economic Daily News (via MacRumors). The site claims that a shortage of Retina display panels for the second-generation iPad has caused Apple to push back its release date until next year. This is not the first time we have heard about a possible iPad mini 2 delay, the DigiTimes previously reported that the new 7.9-inch slate would not see volume production until November due to production issues.
Back in April, analyst Ming-Chi Kuo at KGI Securities also cited production issues when he predicted that the iPad mini 2 would be delayed until 2014. However, many analysts still expect Apple to launch a second-generation iPad mini in Q4 of 2013, just before the holiday shopping season, and after the iPad 5 is released in Q3.