Retina iPad Mini Release May Be Delayed Until Next Year
Michael Harper for redOrbit.com – Your Universe Online
Apple took many people by surprise last year when they announced their first generation iPad mini would not only be priced higher than expected but would ship without a Retina Display. Analysts and customers alike have been waiting for such a device, and earlier rumors suggested Apple could launch both it and the fifth generation iPad during an October event.
Last week, market research firm IHS iSuppli claimed the fifth generation iPad seemed to be “on schedule” in terms of production but that the Retina’d mini might not be released next to it. Today Reuters is reporting production of these high definition screens simply got off to a late start. Because of this, they say, Apple won’t be able to ship the updated smaller tablet this month and may even miss the lucrative holiday season.
For their part, Apple has yet to make an official announcement about any future product launches this year and has not given any specifics about what their next iPad model may look like.
Apple calls its high resolution displays “Retina,” meaning the pixels cannot be seen from a reasonable distance with the human eye. This technology was introduced in the iPhone 4, then made it’s way into the third generation iPad and finally the MacBook Pro. Rumors began to emerge earlier this year Apple would finally bring the Retina Display to their smallest iPad offering. Competitors Amazon and Google have since released 7-inch tablets which offer the Retina’s high resolution or better, leading some analysts to say Apple must release such a tablet or face the consequences.
According to Reuters’ sources, Apple’s strict power saving requirements may be slowing down production as manufacturers are unable to make a display that can live up to these standards. Because of this, sources told Reuters Apple won’t be able to buy enough 7.9-inch Retina Displays for a successful 2013 launch and may push the rumored launch back to early next year.
Another source says Apple isn’t only looking to reduce power consumption, they’re also looking to reduce the price of the iPad mini. One source said Apple is even looking to sell an 8GB version of the iPad mini. If this is true, Apple could be following their iPhone sales tack by releasing newer models and offering older models with less storage at a lower price point. Sources told Reuters it’s not likely Apple will drastically cut prices just to compete with Amazon and Google, however.
“Don’t expect the prices to be significantly lower,” said one source. “Even though Apple aims to cut down on component costs, it still ends up around the same as the current Mini because the new Mini will have upgraded specifications.”
Apple has been experiencing ongoing supply shortage issues with their new iPhone 5S following an opening weekend which saw nine million iPhones sold in a matter of days.
For the first time, Apple did not allow American customers and others to pre-order the new 5S before the September 20 launch day. Chinese customers, however, were allowed to pre-order before the phone became available on the same day. Pre-order stock quickly sold out in that country just hours before North American stores opened. Customers looking to buy a new 5S must now either buy online and wait for Apple to ship the phone sometime this month or call their Apple store to see if their desired phone is in stock.