At this point, there’s no doubt that Apple is working on a higher-resolution iPad Mini — the real mysteries are when it will be released and whether Apple will have enough units on hand to satisfy pent-up demand.
A report this morning from Reuters gives us another sign that Apple could debut an iPad Mini with its high-resolution Retina Display within the next few months, but it also points out that inventory may be limited this year.
Supply chain sources tell the news agency that Apple has only recently begun building new iPad Minis with Retina Displays, which doesn’t leave the company with much room to satisfy launch demand. Apple is currently facing similar issues with its new gold iPhone 5S model, which has proven popular globally but is more difficult to build than the cheaper plastic iPhone 5C models.
With just about every tablet competitor packing in high-res displays in their tablets — including Google’s new Nexus 7, Amazon’s latest Kindle DX tablets, and Microsoft’s Surface 2 — Apple has no choice but to offer a higher resolution iPad Mini display. The low 1,024 by 768 resolution of the original iPad Mini was its biggest flaw, so I’m looking forward to that issue finally being resolved.
There’s also a chance Apple could release both Retina and non-Retina iPad Minis, which could lead to an iPad Mini closer to the Nexus 7′s price. Given the reported supply chain issues, there’s an even greater chance that Apple will keep last year’s iPad Mini around at a lower price, which will hopefully offset demand for a potentially rarer new model.
Apple is expected to hold a media event later this month to announce its new iPad models.