Rumor: Retina iPad Mini

Jay Yarow, Business Insider:

The iPad Mini is going to get its Retina display in the second half of the year, according to NPD analyst Richard Shim.

He tells us that his supply chain checks say Apple should start mass production of an iPad Mini with Retina in the third quarter of this year.

Cool, if true.

Shim says this older chip is going to have to “light up twice as many pixels” for the Retina iPad Mini […]

Twice as many pixels? Not quadruple as many pixels? If the number pixels are merely doubled, we’re looking at a pixel format of 1536×1152, which points to a resolution of 243 ppi. The full-size iPad sports a resolution of 264 ppi. Since the iPad mini is smaller we hold it closer than we do with the iPad, so the resolution of the iPad mini should be higher than the iPad’s, not lower.

There’s another problem: An additional pixel format of 1536×1152 would make it more difficult than it already is to develop apps for the iOS platform. Right now we have 960×640 (iPhone 4 and 4S), 1136×640 (iPhone 5), 1024×768 (iPad 2 and iPad mini), and 2048×1536 (iPad 3 and 4).

I’m keeping my fingers crossed for a 2048×1536 iPad mini, but I’m not certain Apple will equip the iPad mini with a real retina display. With the iPhone 5 Apple made life more difficult for iOS developers by introducing a non-standard 16:9 pixel format of 1136×640. After touting retina displays on both iOS and OS X devices the 162-ppi iPad mini was a step back in terms of resolution. I waited until the iPad (3) because I couldn’t stand having to stare at pixels on the iPad 2. If Apple decided to come out with a whacky 1536×1152 iPad mini for battery life reasons or to hit a certain price point, I wouldn’t be surprised.