As many had expected, Apple is going to introduce a version of its iPad mini with a 7.9-inch Retina display, greatly increasing the number of pixels and the pixel density. But this move has some downsides.
The low screen resolution on last year’s original model was often criticized, so it’s not surprising that Apple decided to move from a 1024 x 768 display at 163ppi to one with a 2048 x 1536 resolution and a 326ppi pixel density.
But there are consequences from this change. For one, the cost of this tablet is going up considerably: the original version started at $320, while the iPad mini 2 will start at $400, a price increase of 25%.
And it seems the published reports that Apple is having difficulty getting sufficient supplies of the Retina display are true, as the company is being vague about when this tablet will be available. Currently, CEO Tim Cook has only said it will be out at some point in November.
For those who want something cheaper and more easily available, Apple is keeping around the first-generation iPad mini and dropping its price by 10%, to $300.
Not Just Better Looking
Adding to the price is a big upgrade in the processor. Last year’s version uses the same processor as the iPad 2, a device that came out in 2010. The iPad mini 2, however, is going to use an Apple A7, which just debuted last month in the iPhone 5s.
The iPad mini is the best-selling tablet in the world, so today’s announcement of a second-generation model might overshadow the news of the iPad Air.