iPad mini (landscape, in hand, display)

Folks who skipped out on the first version of the iPad mini will be happy to hear that they may not have to wait a whole 12 months for the second generation of the tablet to appear. According to a new report today, component-makers for the next-gen mini are preparing for an earlier-than-expected launch…

CNET reports:

“RBC Capital Markets analyst Doug Freedman — who is in China visiting chip companies this week — offered this ambiguous Apple note: “iPad Mini Gen-2: Apple’s gen-2 iPad mini is getting pulled-in, and is likely to have several new suppliers, with TXN gaining content.”

TXN refers to Texas Instruments, who has supplied components for iOS devices in the past. But what we’re more interested in is Freedman’s “pulled in” comment, which seems to imply that Apple is moving up the 2nd-gen iPad mini launch. Of course, it’d be helpful if we knew when it was originally slated to debut.

It actually wouldn’t be crazy to expect Apple to launch the next-gen mini in the first half of next year. Since it updated nearly every one of its product lines this fall — including the 6 month-old iPad — all bets are off as far as refresh cycles. In fact, there’s been talk that we could see the iPhone 5S in Q1 of 2013.

As far as the mini itself, about the only thing we’ve heard about the tablet thus far is that Apple is working with suppliers to enhance its display resolution. And that seems like a given, considering that outside of its price tag, the mini’s low-res screen has been the only complaint in a sea of otherwise glowing feedback.

Going back to the topic of refresh cycles, it’ll be interesting to see what Apple has planned for 2013. There has to be some reason why it decided to update all of its products in virtually a one month span this year, and it’s obviously not going to wait an entire year to announce anything else. Stay tuned.