The oft-accurate Apple analyst has spoken again. KGI Securities’ Ming-Chi Kuo came down off of his proverbial mountain last night and sent out a letter to investors with some predictions regarding Apple’s iPad plans for the end of this year, and the beginning of next.

Kuo, who as we’ve said before has a solid track record in predicting Apple’s product plans, says that he believes we’ll see two new tablets from the company this year: a fifth-generation iPad and a second-generation iPad mini. And both of them will have an A7X chipset…

As you can imagine, the A7X would be a huge upgrade for the iPad mini line, which is currently running an A5 processor. But the big boost is needed considering that this year’s iPad mini is expected to feature a Retina display, which will require substantially more power.

Interestingly enough, Kuo believes that Apple had originally intended to launch the Retina-flavored mini sometime early next year. But the company has accelerated development in order to stay competitive with other small high-resolution tablets hitting the market.

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From his note (via MacRumors):

“Since iPad mini 2 will feature better resolution with retina display, we think its AP will have the same grade as iPad 5 – the A7X.

But we now believe that iPad mini 2 may be pulled in for launching in late 2013. Since other brand vendors are all expected to have a line-up of new high resolution 7-8” tablets to launch over the next 3-6 months, we think iPad mini 2 may lose its opportunity in the market if it is slated for introduction next year.

Despite minimal form factor differentiation and unchanged casing colors, we think the retina display will still boost iPad mini 2’s attractiveness. Although the model’s availability is small due to production issues, if iPad mini 2 gets an introduction and launch this year, it should be able to impact consumers and freeze their budget for other brand vendors’ tablets.”

The analyst goes on to say that Apple is also planning a new, lower-cost version of the iPad mini slated to launch early next year. That model, he explains, will run on an A6 chip, so it’ll fall somewhere between the current-gen mini and the one hitting shelves this fall.

We are expecting Apple to unveil the new mini alongside a redesigned iPad 5 at a media event sometime in October or early November. Kuo says the company is experiencing manufacturing issues with both tablets, but that they should both be ready for launch in Q4.

Top image via Ciccaresedesign