iPad mini sales higher than forecast; high-res display expected; $100 off all iPad models

As I suggested would be the case when the iPad mini first came out, it's on track to becoming the most popular iPad, outselling the iPad with retina display, according to market analyst David Hsieh with NPD DisplaySearch. Apparently Apple had expected to sell some 6 million iPad minis in 2012, with most of those sales coming in the December quarter. But according to Hsieh, as reported by CNET, Apple has asked the makers of the display panel for the iPad mini to ship over 12 million of them for the quarter. He said that the mini appears to be selling better than its larger sibling due to its lightness and portability. The article says that Apple is expected to sell 100 million iPads in 2013, with the iPad mini accounting for half of those sales. A report earlielr this week on AppleInsider also noted that the iPad mini was selling well, and that it appeared to be "cannibalizing" sales of the iPad with retina display.

Meanwhile, if you're looking ahead to Apple's next iPads, as all of us fanboys are, a report by DigiTimes says that Apple will increase the resolution of the iPad mini the next iteration. If Apple were to give it a retina display, it would have a resolution of 2058 x 1536 resolution and a pixel density of 326ppi.

It seems obvious that a next step would be a higher resolution, though some are saying that it's unlikely that the mini will get a retina display. That's because Apple apparently really pushed the technology to the limits to get a retina display on the larger iPad. They say the it would be an even greater challenge to put a retina display on the mini.

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And speaking of the larger iPad, what doesn't seem to be in doubt is that the next generation will be thinner and lighter. There's been much speculation that it will have a IGZO display, which is more effiicient, using less battery power and allowing the iPad to be thinner. The DigiTimes report says that Apple will adjust the lighting on the forthcoming retina iPad so that it uses one light bar rather than two, thereby allowing it to be lighter. DigiTimes has a spotty record for accuracy, though apparently its industry sources regarding displays tend to be more accurate.

If you're in the market for an iPad with cellular data connectivity, and if AT&T serves your area, note that AT&T is offering $100 off iPad models if you commit to a two-year data plan. The offer expires December 31. AT&T offers both new and refurbished iPads. Also, according to MacRumors, WalMart is offering $100 off the WiFi version of the latest fourth-generation iPad with retina display. It normally sells for $499 for the 16GB model, but WalMart has it on sale for $399. Plus, starting Monday, they'll be giving a $30 gift card bonus with the purchase of an iPad. They're also selling the iPhone 5 for $127, and the iPhone 4S for $47. These are some great prices.

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Jim Karpen holds a Ph.D. in literature and writing, and has a love of gizmos. His doctoral dissertation focused on the revolutionary consequences of digital technologies and anticipated some of the developments taking place in the industry today. Jim has been writing about the Internet and technology since 1994 and has been using Apple's visionary products for decades.