Boy, the rumors about whether or not we’ll see an iPad mini with Retina display in 2013 have been flying round all year long. One minute it’s a sure thing we will see the Retina iPad min this year; the next it’s a definite no-go due to supply chain issues or the complexity of the manufacturing process for it.
This week’s latest reports on the subject, like this one from Reuters, cite ‘people who work in the company’s (Apple’s) supply chain’ and sum things up like so:
Apple’s supply chain is only now gearing up to make retina displays for the iPad Mini, which means the gadgets could be available in only limited quantities this year, if at all, and the company may miss the chance to cash in on the year-end holiday shopping season …
This is one iPad rumor I’m not fond of, of course. I hope it’s inaccurate because I’d hate to see Apple miss out on the 2013 holiday season with the new Retina iPad mini – which is bound to be a big hit. I also hope this report is wrong for purely personal reasons. My iPad usage now skews something like 80-20 in favor of the iPad mini. My iPad 3 is still a powerful and beautiful device, but the lightness and the form factor of the iPad mini have made it the tablet I use the most since the first week I owned it.
So here’s hoping this latest Retina iPad mini report is not on the money, and that Apple announces its iPad event very soon so we can get the real answers on new iPads.
The latest iPad mini rumors suggest that we should expect to see a new iPad mini with retina display in the 3rd quarter of this year, and another new model with retina display and an ‘updated processor’ in the first quarter of 2014.
These are based on claims by the NPD DisplaySearch analysts, as reported by CNET.
We see two refreshes coming. One in the second half of this year, then one in Q1 [first quarter] of 2014,” analyst Richard Shim told CNET late Sunday night.
“The Q1  device will have a Retina display plus an updated processor,” Shim added.
Apple Insider also has a report up today noting that mass production of the screens for the retina display iPad mini could start as early as next month – again citing Shim as the source.
It feels like about time we heard at least some early rumors on the next iPad mini, or any iPd release on the horizon. I’d certainly love to see the first part of these rumors, the 3rd quarter release for a new iPad mini with retina display, prove true.
I think we’ve already seen that the iPad mini has quickly become the most popular model in the iPad lineup. When I did a review of the iPad mini I talked about the trade-off of its wonderful lightness more than making up for the lack of retina display. That still holds true, but I also mentioned that adding a retina display to the iPad mini would make it just about a perfect device – and I still feel the same on that point too.
In other words, come on Apple – just tell me when I can line up.
Image Source: Martin Hajek
So today we’ve got a promising sounding iPad rumor that says Apple may be gearing up for a new iPad release as soon as April. This comes via Rene Ritchie at iMore, who has a very solid recent track record on predicting new Apple product launch and release dates.
Here’s the gist of what iMore has heard:
We’ve also been told an April-ish launch is getting serious consideration for the next-generation iPads, but we’re really not sure what to make of that yet. iPad 5 casings have already begun to leak — the only big redesign in the line — so that could make sense. Retina for the iPad mini, however, still doesn’t sound imminent.
I’ve said before and still think that a twice a year refresh pattern for the iPad sounds right to me. They did it last year and it would make a lot of sense to me if the iPad 5th gen gets a Spring release and then the iPad mini sees a late Fall release. That should allow for substantial upgrades to the ‘standard’ iPad and hopefully enough time for Apple to work out a way to add a retina display to the iPad mini.
My only other quick thought is that while an iPad mini with retina display should be a monster hit right away, the iPad 5 will need some major new features to create anything like as much excitement.
What are your thoughts on the new iPads we’ll see this year?
iPad 5 Render courtesy of Martin Hajek
It’s taken a little longer than I expected for iPad 5 (or whatever a 5th gen standard iPad ends up being called) to get going in 2013. I think this is at least partly due to the surprise release of the iPad 4th gen last November. That has left a lot of room for doubt as to whether Apple will skip their usual Spring release cycle for the iPad, or continue with a twice-a-year refresh pattern.
Todays rumor comes via Piper Jaffray’s analyst Gene Munster, as reported by Apple Insider. Jaffray believes we’ll see an iPad event in the March/April timeframe. As in, pretty much when we have come to expect them since 2010.
He also speculates that since the 4th gen iPad brought only relatively minor updates last fall alongside the launch of the iPad mini, this event should see the unveiling of substantially redesigned iPad.
We believe Apple could update the full-sized iPad to a body style similar to the iPad Mini. Additionally, we believe that the iPad Mini could get a Retina display, although that may happen later in the year given the supply constraints Apple faced on the Mini in the December quarter.
I feel like this rumor is almost in the obvious category. I find it hard to imagine that Apple will do nothing to refresh the iPad lineup until the final quarter of the year – especially since Tim Cook talked about how Apple was ‘just getting started’ and said “We’re not taking our foot off the gas” at last year’s iPad mini / iPad 4th gen announcement event. It makes perfect sense for the iPad update to come first, presumably becoming lighter and borrowing from the iPad mini design – with an update for the smaller iPad coming in the Fall / Winter that hopefully adds a retina display.
What do you all think? iPad 5 event in the next couple months?
Image Source: Martin Hajek
I know, I know – new iPad rumors already – when we just saw the release of two new iPads a couple of months ago. Crazy, right? Well, maybe not so much. Today MacRumors and others are reporting on Wall Street analyst Brian White’s prediction that we’ll see 2 more new iPads released in March:
Our checks at CES indicate Apple will release the iPad 5 and the second-generation iPad mini this March. The iPad 5 is expected to be lighter and thinner than the iPad 4 that was released in October, while the form factor of the iPad mini should be similar to the first generation iPad mini that debuted in October.
Even more interesting is that over recent weeks Horace Dediu of Asymco discussed the possibility of Apple switching to a twice a year release schedule for at least some of its star products – and put forward some solid reasons why this is plausible. Then Graham Spencer at MacStories did some further research and analysis around Dediu’s case and posted his thoughts this week. He weighs up a number of factors to do with release schedules, international rollouts timing, spreading out demand peaks and troughs better over the course of the year and ends up saying his guess is that Apple will move to a twice a year release schedule for the iPad and iPhone in 2013, while pointing out that it’s a tough call and a very tough thing to pull off for Apple.
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