Apple’s next iPad mini may have better screen

December 14, 2012

Apple’s iPad mini is likely getting a better screen in its next iteration, at least according to a report from the Taiwanese tech site Digitimes. The iPad mini does not have the sharp retina-quality display that’s been on the last two full-sized iPad models, which has been a main complaint about the smaller tablet.

Digitimes, which tries to get a read on Apple’s next move by chatting with sources in its supply chain, does have a bit of a spotty record on company rumors. But the latest report, which says Apple is “highly likely” to include a better screen, lines up well with what most people expect for the next version of the smaller tablet.

SlashGear reported last month that Apple may be working with one of its suppliers, AU Optronics, to improve the display on the iPad mini.

The move would make sense given Apple’s penchant for putting the high-quality displays — which are supposed to make pixels indistinguishable at a normal viewing distance — on its iPads, iPhones, iPods and Macs. Adding the iPad mini to that mix, particularly as more app developers upgrade their apps for retina displays, is a logical next step.

There aren’t definite numbers on how well the iPad mini has been selling since its October release, though Apple said that it sold 3 million iPads the weekend that the mini and the latest full-sized iPad launched. There has been some indication that Apple is having trouble supplying enough of the devices to customers; on the company’s site the iPad mini has a shipping estimate window of one week.

Analyst Shaw Wu lowered his estimates for iPad sales overall in Apple’s fourth quarter earlier this week, citing the supply issues. He also said that iPad mini could take sales away from the latest iPad, as people opt for the smaller, more portable size. Wu said Wednesday in an analyst note that he expects Apple will sell 23.5 million iPad units, down from a previous estimate of 25 million.

Related stories:

iPhone 5, iPad mini heading to China

Apple’s iPad mini: the pros and cons

ComPost: Google Maps is back on the iPhone and will fix everything that is wrong with your life

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Hayley Tsukayama covers consumer technology for The Washington Post.
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