Will it go Retina or won’t it?
That’s the big question everyone has been asking about the upcoming iPad mini 2. We’ve heard conflicting reports, such as that it will only be available in 2014 instead of October of this year, when the iPad 5 is expected to show up. Other sources — like KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo — say that it will be out before Christmas.
A new report might dash the hopes of anyone expecting a Retina iPad mini this year, though. Instead, they say it’s coming next year.
According to market research and supply chain analyst firm IHS iSuppli, courtesy of CNET:
“While Apple’s iPad 5 looks to be on schedule for an October release, that’s not the case for the Retina version of the Mini, according to Rhoda Alexander, director of Tablet and Monitor Research at IHS iSuppli.
“The Retina Mini looks less certain for that time. Manufacturing volumes on that would match better with a Q114 [first quarter 2014] launch,” she told CNET.
Though she quickly qualified that saying, “But given that it’s Apple, one never knows” — meaning that Apple could announce a product but not necessarily ship it at the same time as the iPad 5.”
Ming-Chi Kuo, one of the most reliable analysts out there, has said that Apple was readying an A7X version of the iPad mini this year, but also admitted that Apple seemed to be having issues with display yields. IHS iSuppli’s report would seemingly collaborate that, meaning that Apple could either hold off on the Retina iPad mini 2 until next year when yields have improved, or ship despite poor yields, leading to a very scarce launch.
My guess is it’ll opt to do the latter. It wouldn’t be the first time: the thinner iMac was shipped with notoriously low yields, and the iPad mini 2, as impressive as it is, is probably not worth its own event in Apple’s eyes. But we’ll see. Me, I’ve got my fingers-crossed: a Retina iPad mini 2 is the only Apple upgrade I have my eye on this year.