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Apple’s iPad-Mini Rumor Round Up ★★★★★★★

August 15, 2013

★ Apple’s iPad-Mini Rumor Round Up. The rumored Retina version of the iPad Mini is expected to use a 7.9" panel with a resolution of 2,048 pixels by 1,536 pixels, the same resolution as the current 9.7" iPad 4, squeezed into a smaller display. Because the iPad mini display is smaller, the pixel density will increase: from 264 pixels-per-inch, PPI, on the iPad 4, to about 324 ppi on the iPad-Mini.

★ Retina Display. To give a point of reference for a 324 ppi Display, the iPhone 4, 4S, and the iPhone 5 have 326 ppi, which is truly a very high resolution display. The point in Apple naming an over 300 ppi Display a "Retina Display" is at this very high pixel count per inch, the Human Eye cannot differentiate individual pixels, making for very smooth lines, curves, fonts, digital pictures, and movies.

★ Production of displays for the expected high-resolution version of the iPad Mini is at levels similar to last year’s launch of the first-generation iPad Mini, as IHS iSuppli told CNET. Based on what we are seeing in the production pipeline. The volumes are similar to the iPad Mini that we saw in Q4 of last year, mentioned by Vinita Jakhanwal, director of mobile and emerging displays at IHS iSuppli, referring to display production.

★ What the rumor-mill has not been able to discern, is how many other suppliers are creating iPad mini Retina Displays. The first-gen iPad Mini was launched November, 2012.

★ iPad mini. Recall, when Apple released their very first iPad mini, Nov/2012, with its 7.9" display, the company, although confident in delivering a quality product, was not expecting the overwhelming sales it received, leading to fabrication and supply-line shortages.

★ Apple was therefore selling iPad minis much faster than Apple’s fabricators and supply-line vendors could produce the product. That’s a healthy problem to have. However, a problem Apple will do everything to prevent happening again.

★ Conversely, Microsoft’s Slate was a total flop, causing Microsoft to recently charge-off $950 million, having to buy the inventory down, or take the inventory back from retailer’s shelves, because of almost no sales. As of this writing Microsoft is still heavily advertising the Slate, that apparently no one wants.

★ To be sure, Apple will be ready for strong demand with the release of the Retina Display iPad mini, now that it is a "proven product" that people want self included. Its exciting to imagine an iPad mini with the same beautiful Display as the iPhone 5.

★ Generally, the higher the pixel density, the sharper the image. The display on the 2013 Nexus 7 has received high marks from reviewers. LG Display is expected to be the main supplier initially for the Mini Retina, though Sharp is also expected to participate in production, Jakhanwal said.

★ Other reports have also cited Samsung as a supplier as various manufacturers struggle to reach high-volume production of the pixel-dense yet thin display. AU Optronics (AUO) is already supplying some displays for the Mini, Jakhanwal said. Though it’s not clear when AUO might start high-volume production of Retina-class displays for the Mini.

★ To take this Display Resolution dialog further, below are two graphics showing the two leading product enterprises, Apple and Samsung mobile devices. The charts shows their Display sizes, Pixel dimensions, Pixel Density in pixels per inch, PPI, and pixels per centimeter, PPCM, Aspect Ratios.

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