Apple apparently isn't quite finished with its component deals with Samsung, as it is "likely" to use a 'Retina' display from the Korean firm in their upcoming iPad mini refresh. Despite the two companies being bitter rivals, Apple has been forced to switch back to Samsung alongside Sharp and LG Display for high-density displays as their current provider, AU Optronics, is not able to deliver the volume it requires in a timely fashion.
The report, which comes from The Wall Street Journal, claims Apple is preparing a high-resolution iPad mini for release in Q4. The tablet is roughly the same size as the existing model, featuring a 7.9-inch display, and Apple is reportedly "contemplating" colored back panels for the device.
If the next iPad mini is to have a Retina display, it goes against what recent iOS 7 code revealed: an upcoming "iPad 2,8", "iPad 2,9" or "iPad 2,10" should feature the same display resolution as the current model, with a performance boost thanks to Apple including their A6 chipset in the device.
The increased pressure from Google in the tablet market, especially with the release of the new Nexus 7 with high-resolution 1920 x 1080 display, is essentially making it hard for Apple to ignore an improvement in the area. While a high-resolution iPad mini is likely, we don't expect Apple to match the $229 starting price of the Nexus 7.
Despite Apple's continued reliance on Samsung for device components, the company has been trying to distance itself from the number one smartphone OEM. Rumors suggest that starting next year Apple will begin transitioning some chip production to TSMC. Samsung is to remain a supplier for various components but if the trend continues, soon all that's left between the companies could be lawsuits.
The 4th generation iPad sports a beefier A6X processor for double the CPU and graphics performance (versus iPad 3), an improved FaceTime camera that supports 720p resolution, the new Lightning connector, 802.11a/b/g/n dual-band Wi-Fi and the same image signal processor found in the iPhone 5.
The iPad mini is a smaller version of the iPad and it’s much more than just a shrunken-down iPad. The iPad Mini packs a dual-core A5 processor, dual-band 802.11a/b/g/n Wi-Fi, a FaceTime HD camera, 5-megapixel rear iSight camera with 1080p recording and an optional LTE radio. The Mini sports a 7.9-inch display and 1,024 x 768 resolution. Battery life is estimated at 10 hours.
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