According to the Wall Street Journal, Apple is sourcing components from Samsung to produce a Retina Display version of the iPad mini later this year. Screens from Sharp and LG Display will also be used. Apple is apparently also considering multi-colored back plates for the iPad mini. This sounds similar to what Apple offers on the latest iPod touch models. Earlier today, we reported that Apple will be sourcing components for its next chipset from Samsung.
TAIPEI—Apple Inc.’s AAPL -0.17% suppliers are gearing up for mass production of a new iPad mini in the fourth quarter that will likely feature a high-resolution screen from Samsung, 005930.SE +0.08% people familiar with the matter say, an indication of the difficulty the U.S. company faces in its attempt to reduce its dependence on its biggest rival. Apple is working with suppliers in Asia on its next iPad mini with a high-resolution “retina” display, unlike the current iPad mini that comes with a lower-resolution screen, the people said. The size of the new tablet will likely be the same as the current 7.9-inch model, which was released in November last year. Apple has also been contemplating multiple color back covers for the new tablet, they said.
We also reported that we had located references to a likely non-Retina iPad mini with an A6 processor in iOS 7 code. It’s likely that this model, like we said earlier, could simply be an internal-only device that never ships, or an iPad mini update that Apple once planned, yet scrapped. Perhaps the recent introduction of the ultra-high resolution Nexus 7 tablet escalated Apple’s need to ship the much wanted Retina iPad mini.
Another logical possibility is that a Retina iPad mini would come at a higher-price-point and Apple is co-developing a new A6-based model for a lower price-point. Many reports pointed to a Retina iPad mini introduction in the spring of next year.