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As much as I love the iPad Mini, its low-resolution display is aging terribly, as just about every new phone and tablet sports high 1080p resolutions.
Apple’s next iPad Mini may just fix this with a Retina Display-level screen from Samsung, the Wall Street Journal reports.
It’s not exactly a surprising rumor — the iPad Mini’s low 1024-by-768 resolution display is obviously its biggest flaw — but we’ve also heard conflicting reports over how Apple would approach the next iPad Mini. Some rumors pointed to a Retina Display, while others said Apple is simply upgrading the Mini’s processor without a higher-resolution screen.
But with last week’s debut of the Nexus 7, Google’s latest flagship tiny tablet, Apple may not have much of a choice anymore. The 7-inch Nexus 7 sports a 1080p resolution screen, an incredibly sharp resolution for a screen of that size. If Apple wants to keep selling the iPad Mini at a premium (it currently retails for $329, while the new Nexus 7 sells for $230), it needs to match it more affordable competitors.
There’s also a chance that Apple could release both Retina and non-Retina iPad Minis, but that seems unnecessarily complex. (Though it could lead to an iPad Mini closer to the Nexus 7’s price.)
The report is also a reminder of Apple’s conflicted reliance on Samsung. The two companies have come to blows in courts and in the smartphone market, but Apple still needs Samsung’s expertise for core components. Another report from 9to5Mac claims that Apple will still include Samsung components in its next A7 iPhone chip (just like previous iPhones).