It’s become pretty clear we’ll see a redesigned 9.7-inch iPad at an Apple event in October. Less clear is whether an iPad mini with Retina display will be unveiled. Rumors over the past few months have conflicted, and a new report claims its arrival this year is unlikely. If it’s any consolation, at least we might see the device in gold, which has quickly become a hugely popular color in the Apple community.
Commenting on Apple’s upcoming plans, Rhoda Alexander, director of Tablet and Monitor Research at IHS iSuppli, said an iPad 5 is most definitely on target for an October launch, though a Retina-equipped mini is “less certain for that time.” According to Alexander, manufacturing volumes suggest the smaller tablet is instead expected to come out during the first quarter of 2014.
“But given that it’s Apple, one never knows,” Alexander admitted.
Plenty of back casings of the iPad mini 2 have shown up over the past few months, but there’s been no evidence to suggest whether the device will sport a sharper screen or not. Now that Google’s Nexus 7 sports a Full HD display, and Amazon’s new Kindles are slated for release this year, one would expect Apple to launch its next mini tablet with a Retina screen to remain competitive.
“We think iPad mini 2 may lose its opportunity in the market if it is slated for introduction next year,” said KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo.
Apple is expected to hold another event mid-October, likely to announce revamped iPad models along with updates to Mac products. Additionally, we’ve heard reports of new Apple TV hardware, though it’s unclear how it’ll be different from Apple’s existing model.