iPad mini 2

Some thoughts on iPad mini with Retina display

As you’ll hear me recount on the upcoming episode of Let’s Talk iOS, I had to go through quite a lot to get my hands on the iPad mini with Retina display that I desired. The model, a Space Grey 32GB Cellular version with a bundled T-Mobile sim, proved to be a pretty tough get.

But I finally did get my iPad mini, and I’ve been able to spend the last few days truly analyzing the device, and analyzing whether or not the time I invested into acquiring it was worth the hassle.

You’ve likely read plenty of other reviews that pretty much spout off the same thing. Yes, the mini now has an awesome screen, has the same guts as the iPad Air, and it did so by compromising some of its thinness. So what’s the end result? Is this a good product? Will it go down as the best iPad ever? I share my thoughts inside.

Some early adopters complaining about screen burn-in on their Retina iPad mini

An unknown portion of the first batch of Retina iPad minis coming out of assembly line is apparently plagued with the screen retention problem, reports from disgruntled users claim. Every Apple product launch is marred with teething issues, though this one is more than skin-deep. As we reported, Korea’s ETNews blamed the issues last week on production woes with Sharp-made IGZO Retina panels.

Manufacturing issues have apparently prompted Apple to negotiate with Samsung Display for the supply of 7.9-inch Retina screens starting next year, as Samsung’s display-making unit “was the first to solve the technological problem”. At the heart of the issue is malfunctioning of Sharp’s thin-film transistor screen technology…

Retina iPad mini teardown: LG Display Retina panel, larger battery, A7 and more

Yesterday, I wondered on Twitter what was taking the repair magicians over at iFixit so long to do their ritual teardown of Apple’s stealthily-released iPad mini with Retina display. My prayers have been listened to as iFixit has torn apart the device, revealing its guts and components for the whole world to see. As you could imagine, they found an Apple-designed A7 chip inside, slightly underclocked versus the iPad Air.

On top of that, there are usual suspects in terms of wireless and supporting chips. As for the titular update to this iPad mini – the Retina display – the teardown analysis has identified an LG Display-supplied 7.9-inch in-plane switching LCD with a 2,048-by-1,536 screen resolution.

While the resolution is the same as the iPad 3/4/Air, the images are crisper at 326 pixels per inch (264 ppi on the iPad Air) due to a shrunken form factor, as noted MacStories editor Federico Viticci noted in his hands-on article.

Other tidbits follow…

Another report claims Retina iPad mini inventory will be limited at launch

With Apple’s tablet event just a few days away, speculation continues to mount on what we may see unveiled on stage. A redesigned iPad 5 seems like a given, but there are still some unknowns regarding the new iPad mini.

The biggest question on everyone’s mind is if the 7.9-inch slate will get the Retina treatment this time around. According to Peter Misek, the answer is yes. The analyst fully expects Apple to introduce a hi-res mini next week…

iPad rumors: redesigned Smart Covers, Retina iPad mini could bulk up slightly

In today’s roundup of the somewhat obvious Apple rumors, a new report has suggested that the upcoming iPad mini 2 will be a tad thicker than its predecessor, presumably in order to accommodate a bigger battery needed to drive Apple’s power-hungry Retina display. This is newsworthy as none of the leaks to date has pointed to added bulk.

The thicker iPad mini meme isn’t unexpected: watchful readers will remember that Apple’s third-generation iPad with Retina display turned out to be slightly thicker than the previous iPads, due to the larger battery inside…

New report claims Retina iPad mini may not ship alongside iPad 5

Apple may not be planning to release an iPad mini with Retina display alongside its next-gen iPad 5 next month, according to a new report, which claims that there’s little supply chain evidence suggesting otherwise.

The news comes from market research firm IHS iSuppi, who is reporting that while the iPad 5 looks to be on track for its expected October launch, manufacturing volumes for the Retina mini point toward a 2014 debut…

IHS iSuppli: production of iPad mini Retina display on track for fall launch

While it seems all but certain that Apple is going to launch a redesigned fifth gen iPad this fall, the fate of the iPad mini isn’t quite so clear. Reports thus far have been split between the tablet having and not having a Retina display.

Well this morning we’re adding another one to the ‘having’ pile. Well-known market research firm IHS iSuppli reports that the new mini will indeed have a high resolution screen, and that production volumes are on par with 2012…

Apple ordering Retina displays for new iPad mini, contemplating colored backs: WSJ

And the back and forth continues. Hot on the heels of a report this afternoon that iOS 7 contains references to an A6 iPad mini with a non-Retina display, comes a story from The Wall Street Journal that Apple has begun ordering hi-res screens from Samsung for the tablet.

Today’s clash is just the latest in a long line of conflicting reports regarding Apple’s next-gen 8-inch slate, which is set to debut this fall. Previous speculation has suggested that a Retina iPad mini would be nearly technically impossible, but tonight’s story says the contrary…

Ongoing challenges forcing Apple to buy Retina iPad mini screens from Samsung?

Run for years by the then op-chief Tim Cook, Apple’s supply chain has become the stuff of the legend. Would-be watchers naively believe deciphering Apple’s next move is as easy as keeping tabs on the chatter coming out of Asia’s supply chain. Tim Cook, of course, begs to differ: on one of conference calls, Apple’s boss cautioned investors against drawing conclusion from any one data point as the company’s supply chain is a very complex beast.

So here’s something for investors and fans to chew on: ET News reported Tuesday that Apple is considering tapping Samsung Display to produce low-power Retina screens for the upcoming second-generation iPad mini because AU Optronics (AUO) was unable to deliver. Samsung would presumably make the screens alongside LG Display, Sharp and perhaps Japan Display, according to a previous February 2013 report…

DigiTimes: minor iPad mini refresh this year, ‘almost bezel-free’ Retina version in 2014

We’ve already heard from multiple sources that Apple is still ‘adjusting’  new iPad mini, with alleged panel shortages pushing a Retina iPad mini 2 into 2014 and prompting Apple to ready a minor update this year until the Retina version with a faster chip is ready next year. A new report out this morning from Taiwan adds more color to these rumors.

For starters, the Retina iPad mini is said to be “almost bezel-free,” which will allow for a bigger viewing area.

A slightly updated model should be expected in the fourth quarter of this year and is said to be “lighter, thinner and equipped with improved specifications,” which probably includes a faster chip than the A5 package found inside the current iPad mini model…

Alleged Retina panel shortages could push back iPad mini 2 into early-2014

While supply chain sources appear to agree that a fifth-generation iPad is launching this Fall, pointing to Apple’s procurement of components ahead of trial production, there is no definite consensus on a successor to the 7.9-inch iPad mini.

A new report out from Taiwan on Friday asserted that Retina panel shortages may have forced Apple’s leadership to push back the device into early-2014.

Tim Cook & Co. have reportedly scrapped the original plan which called for launching the iPad mini 2 during the fourth quarter of 2013, in time for the holiday shopping season…

New report claims iPad mini with 2048 x 1536 display coming this fall

While alleged iPhone 5S component leaks continue to surface, we’ve heard and seen little news lately regarding the next generation iPad mini. The highly anticipated refresh is expected to fix the most common complaint in the slate’s otherwise glowing reviews: the display.

Over the past few months, we’ve seen several reports claiming that Apple is going to be adding a Retina display to its popular 8-inch tablet this year. And we’ve got a new one today that corroborates that theory, claiming that the device is set to land in the third quarter…