Apple Can't Afford to Wait on a Retina iPad Mini

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It's all about small tablets these days. That segment of the tablet market is going wild right now as consumers flock toward affordable mobile devices that fulfill their casual computing needs.

Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL  ) stepped in last year in a big way, with the iPad Mini at the $329 price point. The smaller version's biggest weakness is easily the lackluster display. At 1024 x 768, the display already lagged rival devices from and Google, both of which used 1280 x 800 panels in their smaller 7-inch tablets from 2012. Apple can fend off rivals on other competitive strengths, like a wider tablet-optimized app ecosystem or sturdier build quality -- but only for so long.

Several reports have surfaced this month that Apple may be forced to delay the Retina iPad Mini. Earlier this week, DIGITIMES said that a redesigned fifth-generation full-sized iPad was still on track for a launch this fall, but that Apple's running into some hurdles with a smaller Retina display. Apple has been challenged with manufacturing yields at suppliers on a high-resolution 7.9-inch panel, threatening the device's schedule.

A fresh report from China's Economic Daily News believes that Apple has indeed delayed the Retina iPad Mini's launch until early 2014 because of the troubles it's having.

Apple can't afford to wait that long.

Rivals are expected to beef up their displays even further with their 2013 models, up to approximately 1920 x 1200, in which case even Apple's strong iOS ecosystem may not be enough to defend against rivals. A Retina display is expected to use the same approach of doubling pixel dimensions, which would put it at 2048 x 1536. Apple is also unlikely to just ship a different display inside as a temporary solution, since there are negative consequences to its platform in the form of hardware fragmentation and app compatibility.

Additionally, delaying the device until 2014 would mean that Apple's most promising new product would mostly sit on the sidelines during the all-important holiday shopping season. The relatively low resolution on an aging device wouldn't stand up very well next to sharp new tablets from Amazon and Google.

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Read/Post Comments (5) | Recommend This Article (4)

Comments from our Foolish Readers

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  • Report this Comment On July 13, 2013, at 3:17 PM, prginww wrote:

    Pure FUDS

    Zero factual content.

  • Report this Comment On July 14, 2013, at 1:14 PM, prginww wrote:

    The only fool here is the one writing this tripe. Do your homework fool.

  • Report this Comment On July 14, 2013, at 9:21 PM, prginww wrote:

    As usual, whenever someone says anything negative about apple, the fanboys resort to personal attacks.

    This is a financial website. People come here to gain insight on which stocks to stay away from and which stocks to buy.

    Stay away from aapl, down 22% this year.

    Buy amzn, up 16% this year.

  • Report this Comment On July 14, 2013, at 9:44 PM, prginww wrote:

    Biased reporter, apple fanboy. Known to delete user's post that are anti-apple.

    Supposed to be a financial site, but if you read the comments, sounds more like a gossip site where teenage girls talk behind the backs of other girls.

  • Report this Comment On July 15, 2013, at 6:51 AM, prginww wrote:

    Nui and Russell Lee: you're both stupid.

    Nui's lack of fact and Lee's lazy excuse and use of the Fanboy rant. Two reds in a pod.

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