Apple testing non-Retina iPad mini with A6 chip, iOS 7 SDK references suggest

By , Jul 31, 2013

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

Despite Google’s recently refreshed Nexus 7 now boasting a Retina-class 1,920-by-1,200 pixel resolution screen (check out Jeff’s awesome Nexus 7 vs. iPad mini video showdown), Apple’s seven-inch iPad mini by contrast remains stuck with the rather pedestrian 1,024-by-768 pixel screen.

And now, seemingly corroborating a flurry of rumors pointing to a Retina iPad mini upgrade in 2014, references a developer discovered in the iOS 7 SDK suggest Apple has been testing a new iPad mini with a faster A6 chip, but without a Retina display…

According to the information developer Nick Frey provided to Mark Gurman of 9to5Mac, Apple may be considering three new iPad mini models: an iPad ’2,8′, an iPad ’2,9′ and an iPad ’2,10′, with the respective code-names for the devices J75, J76 and J77.

“This points to one WiFi-only model and two cellular-compatible models (just like the current iPad minis),” Gurman observes.

The ‘s5l8950x’ CPU reference suggests the device will run the same A6 chip found inside the iPhone 5. The A6 chip is bound to provide major speed gains over the current A5-based iPad mini, especially while playing games and running graphics-intensive apps.

And because the references only include non-Retina images and lack the @2x hook which denotes Retina artwork in app assets, Gurman concludes with a high degree of certainty that Apple at this moment is not extensively testing a Retina iPad mini.

Non-Retina A6 iPad mini (9to5Mac references 001)

“Perhaps corroborating this is that the rumored Retina display iPad mini codename is ‘J85,’ while the iPad mini model we have learned about is ‘J75′,” he wrote. Other discoveries point to the second-ten iPad mini using the same cellular technologies and baseband chip as the current model.

We’ve heard before Apple was switching back to Samsung for Retina panels for the second-generation iPad mini. And don’t forget that analysts have repeatedly cautioned a Retina variant may not be ready until March or April of 2014 due to the ongoing yield, supply and engineering issues.

At any rate, a re-tooled non-Retina iPad mini with a faster A6 chip should allow for jerk-free iOS 7 experience. As for the full-size iPad, a fifth-generation model should be due this Fall featuring Apple’s Retina display and iPad mini-like design.

Delaying a Retina iPad mini until Spring 2014 might make sense because the less profitable device won’t steal the thunder from the much-improved iPad 5 come this Fall.

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  • https://twitter.com/MrElectrifyer MrElectrifyer

    Starting to think the iPad 4/5 (iPad with Retina Display) will be the only iPad series with Retina Display…

    • JomanJi

      Sooooooo…. the iPad 5 won’t have a retina display lol?

      • Guest

        What you smoking?

      • inf3rn0

        Whatever it is, do share :)

      • JomanJi

        Wow, it was a joke -_- It just seemed funny how he wrote JUST the iPad 4, not 3 nor 5+, but now he fixed it aparently

  • Mohammed Sahib

    Apple and I, are screwed. The non-retina thingy will be a laugh compared to the months old nexus 7, and I will have to wait or give up and get the iPad 5 or the nexus 7. Why apple, just why? Sigh.

  • Gorgonphone

    hahahahahahaha if ipad mini 2 comes with o retina and lame specs apple will have their first true big loss..

    • Joseph

      …I guess you have a bad memory. You don’t remember back when they made computers? The iPhone has always sold well, but their devices have had no short of ridicule (remember how everyone disliked the iPad at first?).

      • BoardDWorld

        Yeah but being cheap enough to not include a retina display will have a negative effect. Then if the do the iPad 3 trick and quickly supersede the iPad Mini 2 with a 3/retina you’re going to have a few sour customers. I use to upgrade everything yearly but they have given me too many excuses not to. This marks the first year I didn’t upgrade the MacBook Air and iPad, there will be a few years that follow. Now Apple are screwing my brother over with a huge iMac screen bleeding issue, 5 iMacs all the same and now he wants his money back apparently there is no problem…

  • Michael Romano

    This is more of an iPad Mini 1s than a true iPad Mini 2

  • Mohammad Ridwan

    Non-retina mini will be a win for the new Nexus 7….

    • Mohammed Sahib

      Definitely. Better specs and a much lower price are enough to steer people away from the arguably better OS and app selection of the iPad mini. I believe Apple will, must actually, play it smart and skip the non-retina model to the retina one even if it is forced to delay the launch of the mini 2 to 2014.

      • Gorgonphone

        i sear cook and ive are sabotaging apple from the inside.. this is sooo sad

      • BoardDWorld

        iOS 7 is an incredibly slick UI, there’s no sabotaging from Ive. I think Cook needs to up his game though.

  • n0ahcruz3

    Epic fail apple, only blind apple fan boys will buy that crap.

    • Gerry

      Offensive comment is offensive

      • n0ahcruz3

        Its just a freakin gadget. Do you owe apple anything? Every OEM is getting into 1080p bandwagon and apple is going opposite. Plastic, Non-retina(low pixel res) chill man. At least i didnt say iTards, iFarts or any name belittling iFans.

      • BoardDWorld

        It is true though, sheep make stupid buying decisions based on hype. Prime example with Samsung selling so much crap.

  • Gus Me

    If this holds to be true, I wonder if the same people that defended the original iPad Mini will be doing the same this go around… I still maintain that for the price the original was not worth it, and if this is true, this one will be even less. IMO. We’ll see what the reaction will be.

    • Gorgonphone

      exactly..

    • mehrab

      The original was worth the price ckmpared to other shitty 7 inch tablets like the nexus 7

      • Joseph

        Considering you have to use a derogatory term such as
        ‘shitty’ to describe the original Nexus 7, you’ve already lost. You also didn’t mention the 2nd generation one, which is already much better than the iPad Mini 2 is stacking up to be, if the article is correct.

  • Liam Mulcahy

    Why the hell would apple release this? Maybe to keep the cost down.

  • mehrab

    Hmmm im on my mini now and the display is serious not that bad but i want a retina theres nothing wrkng with the performance either i just hope its a retina

  • Leon Green

    Wow people are reacting like this is actually real, a fact that exists in the real world rather than merely an unsubstantiated rumour! Get a grip folks. :D

  • DroidDoesnt_2

    Apple is gonna regret their continued disrespect of their loyal customers. There is absolutely no credible reason why this new iPad mini cannot have the retina display. And if you buy these “supply issue” excuses, then you are a fool

    • Gorgonphone

      cook and ive dont care about you

  • mav3rick

    “…the second-gen Nexus 7 uses a display technology (called low-temperature polysilicon) from Japan Display that has been used, to date, only on phones like, ironically, Apple’s iPhone 5 (which has a pixel density of 326, just slightly more than the new Nexus 7).
    7-inch 1,920×1,200 display on the Nexus 7 may be the upper size limit for Japan Display’s ultra-high-resolution technology — at the moment. In other words, JDI’s tech is not quite ready to scale up to the larger 7.9-inch screen on the Mini.”

    They scream and fight all good tech hardware companies, but they cannot breath without them. There is no software, which is their biggest asset, without proper hardware. But they’re guarded by herds of fanboys…