Apple is currently testing an iPad Mini 2 sans Retina Display
Apple is already testing a few iPad Mini 2 units, and unfortunately they don’t have a Retina Display. This information has been revealed thanks to a developer that spotted references to new iPad Mini tablets in the iOS 7 software development kit (SDK). The good news though is that these new iPad Minis seem to sport the s5I8950x processor, which is the exact same A6 part currently used in the iPhone 5.
This could mean that the next generation iPad Mini will come with much improved performance compared to its predecessor, but there’s no mention of a high-resolution Retina Display for these models inside the aforementioned SDK. So this fall’s iPad Mini may keep the 1,024×768 resolution of the first iPad Mini, while primarily focusing on enhancing performance (and perhaps other features such as the cameras too aside from the CPU).
This would make the next iPad Mini a reasonable refresh for the latter part of 2013. Apple is certainly working on an iPad Mini with a Retina Display too, but issues with production of said screen could have pushed this model’s release into 2014. In the meantime, the Cupertino company obviously wants to have something new on the shelves in the sub-9 inch tablet space, so it will put out this relatively improved model as a stopgap measure. Maybe.
The thing is, mobile device makers test new things all the time, and most of those never make it to the market. This may be the case here too. On the other hand, we’ve heard several rumors over the past few months that there are problems producing 7.9-inch 2,048×1,536 panels for Apple, and that the company won’t release an iPad Mini with a Retina Display this year. So perhaps there was something to those rumors. Keep in mind though that in parallel we’ve also heard that the small tablet with improved resolution will be out this year, so anything’s possible. But if you don’t see a Retina Display on the iPad Mini this year, then you can be almost sure that happened because of issues with making those screens. Which will hopefully be ironed out by next spring.