By Jim Karpen on Fri, 02/22/2013
The rumor cycle regarding the forthcoming iPad mini with a retina display has now reached the leaked-images stage. Pictures of the supposed new device were recently posted to an Internet forum in China. The images show the back casing of the iPad mini, which is, tellingly, a bit thicker than the casing of the current iPad mini. It suggests the next model will have a retina display, because a larger case is needed to accommodate the larger battery necessary to power the higher-density display. When the 9.7-inch, third-generation iPad with retina display was introduced, it also had a thicker case.
Perhaps the most noticeable difference in the leaked photos, though, is bright blue logo and writing on the case. Maybe the next mini will come in a variety of colors.
Introducing a higher-resolution display for the iPad mini is an obvious next step. Apple, it seems, is nearly forced to do so in order to keep up with the competition. (Though I'm perfectly happy with the resolution on my current iPad mini.) But from what I've read, it's difficult technically to do this. And it will reportedly add substantially to Apple's costs.
Frankly, I don't really like the idea of thicker and heavier. When the iPad with retina display was first introduced, I tried one out for a day side-by-side with my iPad 2, in order to decide if I would be buying the new model. At the end of the day, I decided to stick with my iPad 2. I simply preferred the lighter, thinner device, and I didn't like the fact that the iPad with retina display got warm while I was using it.
So if an iPad mini with retina display does indeed come out, and is indeed thicker and heavier, I won't be at all tempted to upgrade. In some ways it's hard for me to believe that Apple would make this move, instead of going with IGZO displays. Apparently the technology is now ready for prime time. It would allow the iPad to have high resolution while being even thinner and lighter. And an IGZO iPad would have a longer battery life, given that these new displays consume up to 90 percent less power.
You can see more images on AppleInsider.