The iPad mini is now nearly nine months old, and therefore speculation is rapidly building up around its likely replacement, the iPad Mini 2. We investigate the rumors, expected release date and the likely price
The first and most likely addition to the Mini will be a retina display. Compared to the new wave of smaller screened tablets that are hitting the market, led by the Google Nexus 7 2nd gen (we compared the original iPad mini to the Nexus 7 gen 2 here), the original mini iPad is now looking dated in the screen department. In many ways the original mini still stands up well against the newly released tablet, but the resolution in the screens is one big point of difference. Expect Apple to fix this when the Mini 2 comes out later this year. Accordingly to the Wall Street Journal, the most likely screen for the new Apple device will be the Samsung manufactured Retina, which is due for release in Q4 2013.
Online polls suggest that a considerable number of people held off buying the first gen Mini in order to get the anticipated higher resolution second gen. This is symbiotic of the wider problem caused by annual upgrade cycles – many consumers are now savvy enough to know that the big companies are holding technology back for the next release. With new models being worked on for up to two years prior to release, it is often quite forseeable to second guess what will feature in the next iteration.
Much like the iPod touch, it is also heavily rumored that the iPad Mini 2 will feature a wider set of back pane colours. Typically Apple have kept to white and black with their flagship products, but there are strong indications that this is set to change with the next Mini.
Other rumors point to the next-gen not having a retina display, but instead carrying a radically upgraded processor. This is a harder rumor to imagine coming to fruition, bit it is possible that Apple will release a couple of versions of the Mini, at different price points. With a ‘lite’ iPhone expected in September, possibly alongside a bigger ‘phablet’ iPhone 6, Apple are showing an increased readiness to offer different versions of their flagship devices.
In terms of a release date, there is growing traction around the idea of an October 2013 release. Originally believed to be penned in for 2014, Apple are said to have changed their plans. Their CEO, Tim Cook, recently spoke about a ‘big final quarter’ of Apple releases this year. With the new iPhone a certainty, most likely alongside a new Mac pro, it also seems increasingly feasible that the new iPad Mini 2 will also feature.
Apple rumors are always likely to change, be amended and even be proved outright wrong. We’ll keep this article updated with the latest though as we move towards the expected iPad Mini 2 release date.