Apple's supply chain has only recently started to make retina displays for the iPad Mini, which means the gadgets could be available in only limited quantities this year, if at all, and the company may miss the chance to cash in on the year-end holiday shopping season, the sources said. (Agencies)
Cupertino, California-based Apple has come under pressure to preserve market share and bolster sales against rivals that are rapidly raising specifications and lowering prices.
It remains unclear exactly what new features and modifications could find their way into the next iPad Mini, which sources said was due to be unveiled this month.
Higher-resolution screens and cameras, as well as thinner and lighter dimensions, are among the improvements users have come to expect with updated smartphones and tablets.
Apple declined to comment about any product launches and the sources at companies in Apple's supply chain declined to be identified due to the confidentiality of the matter.
Apple defines retina display as resolution that is detailed enough that the human eye can't detect pixilation.
The feature is available on some full-sized iPads, and similar resolutions are available on iPad Mini competitors such as Google's Nexus 7, as well as Amazon's seven-inch Kindle Fire HDX due to go on sale this month.
The reason behind the delays in manufacturing the retina display screens for the iPad Mini were unclear. One source at a supplier said that there were delays in Apple's certification of panel producers, which were given strict power-saving requirements.
LG Display Co Ltd, Samsung Electronics Co Ltd's display unit and Sharp Corp all vied to manufacture the panels, supply chain sources said. The three display makers declined to comment.
Given the time required to ramp up screen production, a retina display-equipped iPad Mini would not be available in large volumes until early next year, the sources said.
The sources expected Apple to either wait until early next year for a full-fledged launch of a retina display iPad Mini, or to make a retina version only available in limited quantities before the end of the year.
Apple's supply chain has only recently started to make retina displays for the iPad Mini, which means the gadgets could be available in only limited quantities this year, if at all, and the company may miss the chance to cash in on the year-end holiday shopping season, the sources said.