According to Digitimes’ sources, the iPad mini 2′s display will get a boost in resolution, which isn’t all that surprising considering how most, if not all, consider the current mini’s 1024×768 display to be its weakest link.
Apple’s next-generation iPad mini will focus mostly on enhancing the device’s display resolution, according to Taiwan-based backlighting industry sources.
The sources have yet to specify whether the device will use Apple’s Retina Display technology to enhanced resolution, but market observers said it is highly likely based on the development of past Apple products such as the iPhone and 9.7-inch iPad series.
If Apple does indeed give the next generation mini a higher resolution display, it stands to reason that it’ll have the same number of pixels as the Retina iPads (2,048 x 1,536). This way, developers won’t have to create a third format of Apps just for the 7.9″ iPad (the chances of Apple going this route is next to nil). While it may be safe to assume that Apple will release an iPad mini with a Retina display, there are those (like AnandTech) who believe that we won’t be seeing one anytime soon thanks to the increase in size and cost.
With the mini’s display using a 1024 x 768 resolution, this option would give it a 7.85-inch 2048 x 1536 panel. That would be the same resolution as the iPad 3/4, but in a much smaller display giving it a pixel density of 326 PPI (vs ~263 for the iPad 3/4). Apple could do this, but it would then need to make all of the same changes it made in going to the iPad with Retina Display, primarily the introduction of a larger battery and much larger SoC. The bigger battery is needed to drive the more powerful backlight, and the X-series of SoCs is needed to actually render the UI and games at such a high resolution. Both of these things would increase the size and cost of the mini, which would make it distinctly un-mini.
The other Digitimes rumour makes mention that the 9.7″ iPad 5 will also be lighter than the iPad 3/4.
Meanwhile, the sources also said that Apple will restructure the lighting of the next-generation 9.7-inch iPad from two LED light bars to one in order to decrease the device’s overall weight.
If true, and depending on how much lighter, this could also be rather significant. For anyone who’s held both the full sized iPad and mini side-by-side, it’s evident just how much heftier the bigger sibling is. I know that since I’ve used the mini on a daily basis, every time I pick up my iPad 3, I’ve thought to myself “wow, this sucker is heavy!”.
Now keep in mind that Digitimes has had its hits and misses with its reports, so take it with a grain of salt. Still, it’s exciting to think of the mini 2 with a Retina Display (that for me would be the perfect iPad for everyday use), and a lighter iPad 5.