Why the next iteration of the mini will NOT have a Retina display

Discussion in 'iPad' started by brig2221, Oct 26, 2012.

  1. brig2221, Oct 26, 2012
    Last edited: Oct 26, 2012

    brig2221 macrumors 6502

    Jan 18, 2010
    I keep seeing post after post referring to next years model of the mini having a Retina display, and the really snarky posters say next years model in 6 months will have it :D

    I would bet a significant sum of money that the iPad mini 2, whenever that is, will in fact NOT come with a Retina display, and I think I have some pretty logical reasoning as to why it will not.

    Anyone who visits these boards often and knows anything about Apple knows that this company is obsessed with smaller and thinner, especially thinner. The iPad mini's main selling point IMHO is it's extreme thinness and lightness.

    As most everyone knows, the iPad three had to bulk up in both thickness and overall weight to accomodate having a Retina display, which isn't that big of a deal for the full size iPad, but even then, there are lots of folks who vehemently don't like the larger size (thickness), and especially the increased weight.

    Apple was able to significantly reduce the thickness of their latest iPhone (5) by moving to a new in-cell technology. Won't get into the details of it, but the Retina screen is better than ever, with the new technology allowing them to signicantly decrease the layers/thickness of the screen, which in turn really allowed them to do the same with the overall device.

    I think this is coming to the next full size iPad, which would be the 5th generation. In a perfect world, they would have gone with the same anodized look of the iPhone 5 and iPad mini for the full size update, but I'm guessing they simply didn't have the production capacity/techinical ability to produce the larger displays with the in-cell technology. However, I don't expect that will be an issue when the 5th generation full size iPad is released, which most people expect won't happen until next October, a full year from now. I'm saving my money for that iPad, which will contain the updated housing, and will most likely slim back down to iPad 2 thickness and weight while delivering a better Retina experience.

    Getting back to the iPad mini, there is NO WAY in my opinion that they would ever make this device thicker at all, or add much weight at all. I don't think the technology will be available to them until next year to add Retina, while keep the same device thinness, and close in overall weight. HOWEVER, there is no way they are going to add this to the mini the first go around of availability. I see the second iPad mini getting a nice internal upgrade to an A6 chip, with a commiserate RAM upgrade (1 Gb), and maybe a few other small things.

    Make no mistake though, Retina isn't coming to the mini until the 3rd generation model at the earliest. Obviously this is only my opinion, and I'm sure there will be people who disagree, but I think I did a good job laying out logical reasons supporting my opinion.
  2. johnothy macrumors regular


    Mar 10, 2012
    Who cares about Retina display? I don't see why the ones without it are that bad really.
  3. Yr Blues macrumors 68020

    Jan 14, 2008
    people won't have any reason to upgrade their ipad mini if there isn't retina
  4. Buckeyestar macrumors 6502a


    Sep 17, 2011
    There seems to be an unusual amount of empty space in the iPad mini. With the advances they applied to the iPhone 5 in order to make it thinner yet yield same/better battery life, I'd say they can do the same for the next mini.
  5. nikhsub1 macrumors 68020


    Jun 19, 2007
    mmmm... jessica.'s beer...
    It will for sure have a retina display - there is just no 2048 x 1536 7.9" display available yet... Seems they are bent on keeping the mini a year behind in terms of CPU though.
  6. Yr Blues macrumors 68020

    Jan 14, 2008
    link to teardown?
  7. darngooddesign macrumors G3

    Jul 4, 2007
    Atlanta, GA
    As you said, the iPad 3 was a little thicker and heavier.

    So despite Apple trying to go thinner and lighter, they won't have a problem going a little thicker and heavier if they need to for a Retian display.
  8. ckurt25 macrumors 6502a


    Mar 25, 2009
    Grand Rapids, MI
    That's an interesting argument but I think others would say that Apple is equally pushing retina. And just as someone above me pointed out, that will give consumers a reason to upgrade to the next one. A faster processor and more ram might not be enough for many first generation iPad mini buyers. It wont for me. More ram, faster processor and retina would be.
  9. brig2221 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Jan 18, 2010
    I agree, I think the technology will be there for them next year with the in-cell technology to probably add a Retina display at the same thickness, probably adding a little more weight for increase batteries.

    However, that would put the mini at parity with the full size iPad, or at least close to it, and I honestly don't see them doing that in the second version of the mini.

    Obviously I could be wrong, but I don't think so. I pre-ordered a mini last night, and I think it will be great as it is. I'm not clamoring for Retina or bust (although it will certainly be a nice addition at some point).
  10. kappaknight macrumors 68000


    Mar 5, 2009
    Your post makes no sense. The iPad 2 runs fine on an older chip and 512MB of RAM. If the mini won't get Retina, what's the point of upgrading the chip and RAM if it already has better specs than the iPad 2 and essentially powers the same screen?

    Also, you said there's no way mini will get Retina until they can make it thinner and you also claimed they will be able to make it thinner in a year's time when they release the iPad 5. So are you saying they will have the technology to make a Retina mini in a year when they get this technology?

    Sounds like you're just spouting a bunch of jibber jabber to me. Why not leave the speculation to those that actually have things to speculate on?
  11. brig2221 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Jan 18, 2010
    I see you point, that being if they have done it once, they can certainly do it again. However, I think it wasn't nearly as big an issue for the full size iPad as it would be with the mini.

    The iPad 2 was significantly trimmed down in thickness, so increasing it somewhat in the third generation wasn't too bad. Also, we are talking about a 9.7" full size device, where the thinness/weight isnn't nearly (IMHO) as import as it's going to be for the mini.
  12. cambookpro macrumors 603


    Feb 3, 2010
    United Kingdom
    Hang on, you're saying the tech will be available, but they won't use it? I'd happily bet that the next mini will have retina.

    Otherwise, why upgrade? An A6? :confused:

    Even if it's heavier, Apple won't care. The 3GS, 4S, iPad 3, certain MacBooks etc have all been heavier than their predecessors.
  13. brig2221, Oct 26, 2012
    Last edited: Oct 26, 2012

    brig2221 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Jan 18, 2010
    Why don't you tell me how you really feel and quit beating around the bush ;)

    Hey, I could be wrong for sure, and yes, I'm no authority on the matter, just an Apple user/enthusiast like most other people on these boards with an opinion.

    As originally noted, I have seen a trend in posts about the mini 2 and it's expected inclusion of a Retina display. I thought the fact that I think there is no way it will have one was a good topic of discussion, for better or worse :D

    Yes, I think Apple will have the technology (in-cell display) to add Retina to the iPad mini next year, but won't for several reasons:

    1) They will probably be supply constrained at first, with 100% of the production yields going towards the full size (where they make much larger profits) model. This is purely speculation on my part I will admit, but I think it isn't that far of a leap, and makes logical sense.

    2) Brand new in-cell displays for 7.9" panels probably aren't going to be very cheap/cost effective the first year they are in production, which is yet another reason why I don't think Apple would decide to put them in the mini even if they had the production capacity to do, which I don't think they will by the way as noted above.

    3) I believe that Apple is going to position the full size iPad as their flagship tablet device (because it makes them the most profit), and as such, will keep the mini on a schedule of having internals (displays included) that are one to two generations behind, while putting their latest display technology and latest whizbang A-pick your number chipsets in their full size models.

    I think those are probably the strongest three reasons why the iPad mini 2 won't have a Retina display. I also happen to think that Apple will not increase the thickness at all on this device, or the weight that much, given how it is advertised as being used (one hand use, light as a feather, etc.).

    Yes, I know Apple has increased size and weight on their laptops in the past, along with the iPad 3. That said, I view the iPad mini in the same vein as I do the MacBook Air. No way do I see Apple making an update to their Air line of laptops that would make it thicker. Would make absolutely no sense given the way the device is marketed, and for the same reason, is why I don't think they would ever make the iPad mini thicker in any way.
  14. BoredAtWork macrumors newbie

    Jun 19, 2012
    my thoughts exactly. reminds me of the original ipad. Then iPad 2 came out and low and behold, you can hold a 50% larger battery in there.
  15. Yr Blues macrumors 68020

    Jan 14, 2008
    Please remember to bump this thread when the iPad mini with retina display is released :D
  16. JSalig macrumors 6502

    Oct 30, 2010
    Many were saying the same thing about the ipad 3 ad nauseum. A few said it was years off.
  17. brig2221 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Jan 18, 2010
    It's not like I have some vested interest in Apple NOT putting a Retina display in the mini. I think it's a killer feature that would really complete the mini and would welcome it early for sure!

    I'm just not convinced in any way that it will be included in the second generation. I will be more than happy to be wrong here, although I don' think I will be.
  18. MisterDisney macrumors 6502a

    Jun 20, 2010
    Lets say Apple could get the screens made...

    Making the 7.9 inch a retina display, the same resolution as the iPad, would have either made the mini more expensive than the full sized iPad, and therefore not a viable product at all... Or, it would have seriously cut into the iPad's sales, and Apple will never make two products that compete with each other.

    The latter being the key point, which will still be true in the next revision.
  19. chleuasme macrumors 6502

    Apr 17, 2012
    If IGZO screens are available and at high pixel densities, Apple could solve the problem of battery life with a retina-class display, and keeping its thin design for the mini.
    No idea if next year is too early.
  20. Che Castro macrumors 603

    May 21, 2009
  21. ckurt25 macrumors 6502a


    Mar 25, 2009
    Grand Rapids, MI
    The iPhone 5, with a retina display, is 7.6mm thick. The iPad mini is 7.2mm thick. If adding retina adds .4mm I don't think anyone is going to throw a fit.
  22. urkel macrumors 68030

    Nov 3, 2008
    I agree that the iPad 2 screens are good enough so Im fine with the Mini not having it...BUT... if we are to believe Retina makes a difference in the iPad 3/4, iPhone 4/4S/5, iPod Touch or MacBook Pro 13/15 then we can't pretend that it wouldn't be amazing on an iPad Mini.
  23. Buckeyestar macrumors 6502a


    Sep 17, 2011
    Watch the video on the Apple store, about the 2:30 mark.
  24. brig2221 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Jan 18, 2010
    Absolutely agreed.
  25. Buckeyestar macrumors 6502a


    Sep 17, 2011
    I imagine the mini might stay a generation behind on the processor and camera compared to the 9.7" version. But the fact is, for me at least, the deciding factor is the size. I've been wanting a smaller, Kindle sized iPad. I imagine I will always prefer that over the full sized version. I'm not looking for a budget device. I'm going to be using an iPad, I jut hope they don't continue to skimp too much on the future versions.

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