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ipad-mini2The iPad Mini may be a marvel of miniaturization and the best small tablet on the market, but it lacks a high-quality retina display, and it’s not exactly cheap.

It looks like at least one of those issues could be resolved soon.

According to Taiwan-based Digitimes — which has a bit of a spotty record with rumors — Apple is sourcing new screens for the newest, lightest, and smallest member of Apple’s iPad lineup. Those new screens are most likely retina displays with 2,058 by 1,536 pixels, for a 326 pixel-per-inch density.

That compares to the current model’s 1,024 x 768 pixels and 163 pixel-per-inch density, and it would address the popular device’s most common complaint. Apparently, iPad Mini is outselling the iPad 4 and may account for half of all of Apple’s iPad sales in 2012 — up to 50 million units.

On the one hand, the retina rumor is a gimme: Obviously, Apple is going to put a better screen on the iPad Mini at some point. The question is when.

iPad refresh schedules were generally about a year in length — until the unexpected October release of an updated iPad 3. So will the mini be updated in six months, which puts a new version in the April/May time frame, or in 12 months, at another October-ish event?

My guess is six months, as the tablet market is moving fast, and more competitors are nipping at Apple’s heels. This rumor adds fuel to that fire.

Image credit: John Koetsier

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