Although the Apple iPad mini has only just gone on sale, there is already talk of a second generation version of this compact 7.9-inch tablet.
The iPad mini has been generally well received by reviewers but one of the main criticisms is that the screen’s resolution compares poorly with the one used in the third and fourth generation full-sized iPads, which Apple calls a Retina Display.
Apple may be resolving that with its next iPad mini. According to Mashable, DoNews – a Chinese tech website “with a pretty good track record of reputability” – says Apple suppliers already have Retina displays in development for the iPad mini 2.
It’s claimed that sources in Apple’s supply chain say that AU Optronics, a company that supplies display panels for the iPad mini, “is already working on a new 2048 x 1536 Retina display for the iPad mini 2.”
That resolution is double the number of pixels in the current model’s 1024 x 768 screen and would equal that of the 9.7in iPad 3 and iPad 4. It would, however, boast an even higher pixel density, because the pixels are crammed into a slightly smaller screen size. It would also mean that any app optimised for the larger Retina Display iPads will work without much, if any, alteration by software developers.
The sources add that “Apple will be using Sharp’s IGZO technology in the second-generation iPad mini, which will allow the tablet’s display to be thinner and more power efficient while still maintaining excellent colour and brightness.”
However, the iPad mini 2 may not be going into production until the end of 2012, with a launch later in 2013, perhaps not until the autumn – a year after the first model. At least it makes the controversial ultra-fast replacement of the iPad 3 with the iPad 4 seem like a more isolated case.
iPad mini images: Apple