Is the iPad 2 destined to be the next big release from Apple in early 2013? Better still, will its arrival see the current iPad Mini become the first true-budget tablet from Apple to rival the likes of the Google Nexus 7?
Reports have once again hit the headlines this week suggesting that the iPad Mini 2 has become the primary focus for Apple’s supply chain across the Far East, indicating that full-scale production may be scheduled to start very soon. Following the rest of Apple’s iOS range, the iPad Mini is expected to feature a Retina quality display, though retain most of its current specs and features.
According to the folks over at CNET, the iPad Mini 2 project is well underway and Apple is looking to partner up with new suppliers for the venture, perhaps Texas Instruments.
Despite speculation that the iPad Mini would be a flop in the face of such affordable competition from its Android rivals, it became an immediate success story across most of the world and supplies were quickly exhausted. The one ongoing criticism has been the way in which its lack of a Retina panel in the eyes of some heralds a step backward for Apple’s iOS range, though this is almost guaranteed to change with the release of the iPad Mini 2.
The question therefore is – what will become of the current iPad Mini when its revamped sibling arrives next year? Will Apple use the mini-tab’s ongoing demand to wipe out inventory and discontinue the device, or will the first generation iPad Mini be reduced in price more toward the Kindle Fire/Nexus 7 side of the market?
It would be pretty safe to say that an iPad Mini for around the $250 or even the $200 mark would break every record in the book, Retina panel or otherwise. That being said, an iPad Mini being offered for next to nothing would likely do little to stir up excitement in a Retina-toting iPad Mini 2, so it remains to be seen how Apple tailors the evolution of the mini-tab.