iPad mini 2 Retina screens reportedly entering mass-production next month

By , May 7, 2013

iPad (two-up, iPad, iPad mini, hand)

NPD DisplaySearch is on a roll. After reporting yesterday that Apple could release two Retina-enabled iPad mini models – one in the second half of this year and another in the first quarter of 2014 with an updated processor, the display market researcher tell CNET today they think those high-resolution Retina panels for the second-generation iPad mini could go into mass-production soon, as early as June or July of this year.

If true, and assuming satisfactory yield rates, Apple should be able to ready its first Retina iPad mini for a Fall introduction, a time frame KGI Securities’ well-informed analyst Ming-Chi Kuo recently outlined based on his own sources…

CNET quotes NPD DisplaySearch analyst Richard Shim:

We should see the start of mass production of the panels in June or July.

LG Display,  Shim says, “will be one of the major manufacturers of the display.”

Samsung, he added, “is not a supplier for the iPad mini.”

Samsung is currently not in the iPad mini and they won’t be in the next generation. LGD is becoming a much bigger supplier than before.

Apple has been moving away from Samsung for part orders over patent infringement.

According to the supply chain chatter, the iPhone maker is widely believed to be putting the last nail in the proverbial Samsung supplier relationship coffin by commissioning Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company, the world’s largest independent semiconductor foundry, to manufacture next-gen processors for iOS devices.

LG Display is the principal supplier of iPad mini screens.

Though Apple has already placed an order for Retina iPad mini panels with LG Display back in February, a fire incident at one of LG Display subcontractor’s plant has affected planned outputs.

While Apple could increase the next iPad mini’s resolution to somewhere in between the 1024-by-768 panel on the current model and the 2,048-by-1,536 panel on the full-size iPad, doing so would fragment the platform by introducing a new screen resolution.

By keeping both the 9.7-inch and 7.9-inch device’s resolution same, programmers won’t have to do extra work as existing Retina iPad builds will run just fine on the iPad mini 2.

On the downside, Apple’s insistence on keeping things simple for developers is seemingly contributing to the Retina screen manufacturing headaches.

iPad mini promo (users 005)

Another concern: those Retina screens don’t come cheap so the next iPad mini could possibly eat into the company’s already slim (by Apple’s standards, of course) margins for the device.

According to Deutsche Bank’s Chris Whitmore, these cost concerns may be  are “overblown.” The lower-than-expected iPad mini margins were “nearly entirely cyclical and not structural” as Apple ramped up production and perfected the manufacturing process, Whitmore explained last October in a note to clients.

A month ago, KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo issued a note to clients asserting that Apple’s upcoming iDevices will likely be hitting store shelves later than anticipated due to a number of “technical challenges.”

Specifically, Kuo wrote Apple’s screen suppliers continue to face challenges related to mass-production of 7.9-inch Retina panels. Apple is thought to be using LTPS (Low-Temperature Polysilicon) screen for the iPad mini 2, which is essentially the same display tech used in the iPhone 5.

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  • http://twitter.com/Moewitter Mhamad Hajj Chehade

    I’m getting this

  • King

    Will purchase one when you’re able to jailbreak it

  • http://twitter.com/Shabazz916 Shabazz916

    Thank goodness im gettn this hope it comes in 128gb

    • King

      Hope Apple just rid of the 16gb and only make 32,64,128GB on the iPhones and iPads

      • Mohammed Sahib

        Amen

      • Ahmadjoon

        I love 16 GBs because their low price!
        Hope Apple prise 32 GBs like old 16 GBs!

      • iosPixel

        Indeed, I imagine a 16GB device with iOS 7 in real terms is a 12 GB device.

  • Matthew Agostino

    I’ll wait for this to come out to purchase the ipad mini 1 for the discounted rate =)

    • http://twitter.com/Shabazz916 Shabazz916

      Why dnt u want the HD display

      • Matthew Agostino

        Because money doesn’t grow on trees. Based on apples past business model, I’m guess the once the mini2 comes out the mini1 should be 150$ for wifi

      • http://www.facebook.com/pez.granite Pez Tickles

        I wouldn’t trade my Mini for an iPad 4, I can hardly tell the difference

  • http://twitter.com/Koray110 Koray

    Can’t wait! :)

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1595420643 Simche Apple Konstantinovic

    New iPad mini :D Definitely going to get one and replace it with my iPad 2 :)

  • Gorgonphone

    I will only get this IF it has sufficient processing power for its retina screen to perform equally to the ipad 4.. if they underpowered it like they did with the ipad3 then that will be very sad.

  • http://twitter.com/jpcacho Josh Cacho

    ios 7 jailbreak + ipad mini = amazing

  • Mohammed Sahib

    I hope LG solves the nasty image retention issues on their displays.

  • Bob

    If iPad 5 is as light or similar in weight to the iPad mini I will get it over the mini.

  • Ahmadjoon

    Like iPad 3 and iPad 4!
    One with retina and same CPU and the other with a better CPU!

  • hkgsulphate

    Battery? Weight?

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000370390828 James Jacques

    Beware! Just like the New iPad, The iPad mini may become heavier and the batteries will take longer to charge!! all because of the retina display! Thats why i got rid of my New ipad and went back to the ipad 2!…
    i bought the New iPad and regretted it!!… They tell you all about the New features but leave out the downsides till youve bought it! :((