Why Apple couldn't make the iPad mini with a Retina display

Why Apple couldn't make the iPad mini with a Retina display

The iPad mini doesn't have a Retina display, and that's left it and Apple open to a lot of criticism. It's easy to say the iPad mini should have a Retina display, but unfortunately for Apple and for us, it's not so easy to engineer. It comes at a cost. I've mentioned that before in passing, but given the press it's still getting, over a week over launch, it bears repeating.

If you're not familiar with the term Retina display, it's the marketing jargon Apple uses to describe HiDPI (high dots-per-inch), or screens that have pixels so small they "disappear", providing a more enjoyable, more glossy magazine-style experience. Instead of the dots that make up the face or text or character you're looking at, you just see the face or text or character. Apple achieves Retina display while maintaining software compatibility by pixel doubling both horizontal and vertical resolution. 1 pixel at standard density becomes divided into 4 pixels at Retina density.

The iPhone and iPod touch went from 480x320 at 163ppi to 960x640 at 326 dpi in the summer and fall of 2010. The full sized iPad went from 1024x768 at 132 ppi to 2048x1536 in March of 2012. The last time Apple released a non-Retina iOS device was the iPad 2 in March of 2011 (and that's the device upon which the iPad mini is based). As John Gruber of Daring Fireball pointed out, there's a direct parallel between those devices and Retina displays as well:

I don’t see how the non-retina iPad Mini shipping seven months after the retina iPad 3 is any different than the non-retina iPad 2 shipping nine months after the retina iPhone 4 was unveiled. Retina spoils you. If Apple could go retina across the board in one fell swoop — all iPhones, all iPads, all Macs — they would. But they can’t.

It comes down to physics and economics -- more precisely, the realities technology and pricing. The goal of the iPad mini was thinness and lightness; to give you everything the full-sized iPad has but in a more portable form. When the full-sized iPad went Retina, it actually got slightly thicker and heavier. Apple couldn't have an iPad mini that was that thin, light, and cheap, with 10 hours of battery life, and a Retina display. They had to choose 2 of the 3, and they chose form factor and battery.

As Kontra points out:

[Apple] can sell a more/less expensive, thinner/thicker, heavier/lighter, hi/low res, but not one with substantially shorter battery

You might be tempted to call foul and point out that both the iPhone 5 and the iPod touch 5 have Retina displays and both have become increasingly, ludicrously thin over time. But here's the thing: iPhones and iPods have far, far fewer pixels than iPads. Retina iPhones and iPods have roughly the same pixel count as NON-Retina iPads. Right now the non-Retina iPad mini has a pixel count of 786,432 (1024x768) compared to the iPhone 5's pixel count of 727,040 (1136x640). A Retina iPad mini would shoot up to 3,145,728 (2048x1536). Lighting and powering that many pixels requires a lot of LED and a lot of battery. Driving that many pixels also requires a quad-core Apple A5X processor at a minimum, perhaps even an Apple A6X.

Gruber notes:

Don’t forget scrolling/graphics performance. Expensive, power-consuming, and hot for retina.

The iPad mini is almost as thin, inexpensive, and long-lasting as the iPod touch, in part, because their pixel densities are very similar. The iPad mini is simply large enough that its display no longer qualifies as Retina density.

Apple might have been able to put a Retina display in the iPad mini, but it would required it to be as thick and almost as heavy, and cost almost as much, as the iPad 4. That's not the device Apple wanted to make, and likely not the device most of us would want to buy. So Apple compromised on screen density in order to deliver a thinner, lighter, cheaper iPad mini today. When technology and costs allow for a thin, light, cheap iPad mini with a Retina display and the same great battery life, we'll get one. (And the non-Retina iPad mini might just stick around at an even cheaper price point, the way the iPad 2 has for the last year.)

Here's a comparison between raw pixel resolution (top) and pixel density (bottom), for the iPad 2 (green), iPad mini (red), iPad 4 (blue), and iPhone 5 (purple) (from left to right). I've added 44x44 point squares (standard tap target size in iOS) over the screens, so you can see how the relative pixel and touch sizes change when the displays are at physical scale (bottom).

Because the iPad mini packs those 1024x768 non-Retina pixels into 7.9-inches rather than 9.7-inches, it is slightly denser than the iPad 2, namely 163 ppi rather than 132 ppi. Not coincidentally, 163 ppi is exactly the same screen density Apple manufactured for years for the original iPhone, iPhone 3G, and iPhone 3GS (which continued to be sold until September, 2012). So if you've used any of those early iPhones (or iPod touches), you have a rough idea what a 163 ppi screen looks like.

Here's a look at the Settings > Sound screen from iOS 6 on the iPhone 5 (left), iPad mini (center), and iPad 4 (right) at relative physical scale, with a 44 point grid overlaid on top of them. (The Retina iPhone 5 and Retina iPad 4 have faint 44 pixel grids as well, for consistency with previous diagrams.)

If you're curious, here's how the iPad mini (red) compares to the Nexus 7 and Amazon Kindle Fire HD 7 (black) in terms of both pixel resolution (left) and pixel density at physical scale (right). (With the same iOS-standard 44px tap target size grid in place.)

Personally, the lack of Retina on the iPad mini really bothered me a lot at first. Now I barely notice it unless I'm doing something very text- or line-work-centric. When I'm watching video or playing games, I don't notice it at all. I do notice the compactness, the thinness, and especially the lightness all the time. They are profound enough that Apple's compromise on Retina turns out to be the same compromise I'm willing to make.

(This post is an excerpt, in part, of my iPad mini review)

Rene Ritchie

Editor-in-Chief of iMore, co-host of Iterate, Debug, Review, Vector, and MacBreak Weekly podcasts. Cook, grappler, photon wrangler. Follow him on Twitter and Google+.

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Why Apple couldn't make the iPad mini with a Retina display

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I suspect it has more to do with apps, ecosystem and sales. Without out apps, there would be no incentive to buy an iPad mini over say, a Nexus 7. But Apple painted itself (rightly or wrongly) into locked screen dimensions. It had to be either retina or non-retina in order to seamlessly run the hundreds of thousands of apps already written for earlier generation iPads.

On the other hand, an Android device can have any pixel dimension. Of course we know that can also present it's own set of problems. But it provides Google and Amazon the ability to tout a higher pixel count and density. Sure, not all apps may run smoothly but, developers may begin to write specifically to best selling devices such as the Nexus 7 and Kindle HD.

While not retina level, how is it that the Nexus 7 with more pixels, a quad-core processor still have roughly the same battery life as a iPad mini? It even weighs just about the same.

Hi Rene...well said....I think retina mania was overblown by media...its only visible if U would zoom into a text and concentrate on the outline.... normal people don't notice the density deference between iPad4 and iMini... but they do notice the mobility/weight deference... that's why its sold out WW...
HD fire/Nex7 has 30% more pixels than iPad mini... but iMini has a 35% bigger screen ... so because retina judgment of our eyes depends on the distance from the eye-pupils... this does result in a actual 5% plus for the iMini.... because U could increase the viewing distance by 35% by keeping the same size of the viewed area... so that literally means the iMini is 5% more dense or more retinish (if U wish) than a fireHD/Nex7 .... 7.9" is the only way Apple could go regarding software compatibility &batt.life&weight and... U forgot to mention: margins .!!!
its basically a iPhone3/GS display with more than double the size...no one complained for two years about that... even it had to be hold much closer to the eyes... DUDES

Hah...what?? Either your eye sight is poor or you just don't care or you don't know what you're talking about. The iPad mini's screen caused me to immediately return it for a refund, although I very much liked the size, lightness, and virtual one-handed operation at times (I have big hands). So if you think the difference in clarity between the iPad 4 and the iPad mini is "hardly noticeable", well, see above.

I remember an article by Rene pretty soon after the iPhone 4 came out and it struck a cord with me insofar as I not only was in complete agreement but slightly sad at the same time. The then-new Retina display RUINED me for every other screen, including my beloved 27" 2560x1440 Cinema Display (same screen as found in all 27" iMac's since late 2009, including the new late-2012 re-designed iMac's). I loved the iPad 3 when it came out and boy, the 15" Retina MacBook Pro is just an insanely gorgeous piece of engineering and by that, I don't just mean the incredible (and thus far largest) Retina display.

Before the iPhone 4, I'd always been a lover of IPS displays and high resolution screens, and we can all thank Apple that manufacturers care about display quality again. For example, notebooks once again have IPS displays for the first time since IBM/Lenovo stopped making the 14" and 15" IPS "Flexview" displays. It's a great time to be a technology junkie/consumer.

That is worth noting. People are wanting 326ppi screens from Apple. They're saying they want (or expect) retina without blinking. Part of which is Apple's fault for trivializing this with retina marketing. None of the 200 dollar sold at cost/loss competition is anywhere near this. The Nexus 7 for example is 216ppi.

Asking for an ipad 4 (along with faster chip and long battery life) in a 7.9" thin Mini at 329 is just unrealistic. Such a product would cost more than the ipad 4 to build.

Steve Jobs was a genius. He called this before it even happened. He said 7" tablets were DOA. Apple just proved this to be true by releasing a sub-par 7" tablet. Steve Jobs would have never allowed this to happen. With the iPad Mini, Apple proved to its customers that all they care about is selling products and making money; not releasing a quality product. And don't even get me started with the new "Lightning" adapter.

@blindemboss: "...how is it that the Nexus 7 with more pixels, a quad-core processor still have roughly the same battery life as a iPad mini? It even weighs just about the same."

Actually, the Nexus 7 is over 10% heavier and almost 50% thicker than the iPad mini. And while it provides 30% more pixels it has about 30% less screen area. No mystery there.

By the way, I'll take the lighter, thinner, larger screened device.

It's not like the Nexus 7 weighs 10 pounds. I've handled several, and it's plenty light and easy to carry around. I very highly doubt anyone can actually tell a 10% difference in weight of a device that weighs as little as each of them do (this tablet is a WHOLE OUNCE heavier than another one...really?). Not a very convincing argument, IMHO.

Well wrote and explained. This was something I wanted to know however I'm totally fine with the screen on my iPad Mini. I have no trouble seeing anything on it and the "barely there" sides of it make all the difference in screen realistate that now that I'm using it, I'm a believer that 7.9 is an excellent size for usability and portability. Oh and the weight/thinness, my god it's great. This little guy is the perfect way for me to complete my OS collection of insanity.

Makes sense to me, thanks! But now I have a problem: I've been waiting for the Sprint iPad 4 to come out, but now I'm considering a Mini. Dang, do I have to get both?! ;-)

Also, can anyone tell me what font iMore uses for the site--I really like it. Thanks!

If you want it to take out often and you don't have a retina iPad already then go mini and you won't miss the retina. Or if you so and can live with it, it's still a win. Was thinking about getting a Sprint model for my brother for Christmas also lol.

Font stack: OpenSans (or Verdana or Helvetica). Hard to tell which one you're seeing. But it should be OpenSans.

Absolutely. The non-retina is in part because of apps, ecosystem and sales. But that is what gives the tablet the experience. The locked screen dimensions give the entire Apple lineup the uniformity it needs to produce a high-quality experience with Apple products.

That is also true, Android devices come in many different resolutions, and some of them are absolutely gorgeous. But at this point (and most likely for a long time), very few Android apps take advantage of the amazing hardware that is put into Android products. Sure there may be a couple great tablet and resolution-optimized apps and I'm not saying there aren't any in the Android market, but they're few and far between. This also complicates things tremendously for devs and such, have you ever come across an Android app that is optimised for every Android device? No because it is nearly impossible to create. Instead, devs compensate by choosing the lowest denominator and work from there. This is the cost of fragmentation. Sure there are some outstanding products, but they are nowhere close to the potential they could be at.

The consumer market wants products that are at their full potential now, not products that could be at full potential. Comparing the specs of an iOS device vs. an Android device is like comparing a Ferrari engine in a Ford T vs. a 2012 Honda Civic. Uniformity and "locked in" ecosystems still offer a better end-user experience...for now.

Hi Rene. Excellent article as always. One area that I felt that you could have touched on more is why Retina on the mini *has* to be 2048x1536. Apple's resolution strategy also impacted Apple's choice of screen for the mini (along with, as you pointed out, size & power concerns). I discuss this area a little more in my follow-up blog posting to yours. It can be found here:

"Further Thoughts on Why Apple Couldn't Make The iPad min with a Retina display"


The real reason: they got your $329 this year. They need to save something for next year to get it again.

I spent two years looking at the vacant camera hole in the original iPad. You know, the recess where there was room for a camera but Apple left it out?

The next year, everyone had an increased incentive to jump on the iPad 2. More than anything else, I suspect Apple is just helping their iterative cycle.

It probably helps that I don't know much about what it REALLY takes to push so many pixels or illuminate them, but I've seen others agree that it wasn't beyond Apple to go Retina at that price point.

Because we ALL know they'll do it, next year. Hell, the iPad 2 should be out of the cycle by April but certainly by October of next year. That means the mini would be the only non-retina screen Apple offers in iOS devices. Not happening.

I'm sure they'll be happy to offer the current mini at $229, next year, when they debut the revolutionary and magical $329 Retina iPad mini.

It is a BUSINESS after all, right? A corporation's legal purpose is to maximize shareholder value.

The context of my statement had to do with whether Apple leaves out features due to technological limitations or for iterative convenience.

Very true. I agree that they should do that. I just don't want anyone pretending they didn't do this because they couldn't.

All Apple has to do is to extend the current iPhone/iPad Touch display to 7.9" and it will be 2048x1536. Though you'll still need an A6X (or A5X) to make use of the display, then an appropriate battery that will offer 10 hour life and fit into the current enclosure.

Given the rest of the big players are offering better pixel density in their 7" tablets, I can't see Apple using a 1024x768 display for another year.

Is this a job for Sharp's IGZO display?

Seriously, the only people who can tell the mini does not have retina display, is Internet geeks. The common folks won't give a rats ass nor even know what retina means. All the other factors will outweigh it by far. The mini is the perfect companion to anyone whom needs a tablet for work.

Does everybody realize they compacted a iPad 2 display down which comes closer to retina. If they would have compacted an iPad 3/4 retina display down that would just be ridiculous. Nobody needs that pixel density.

Perfectly said, Rene. We doubt that Apple will ship Retina-class iPad minis until they get a next-gen screen technology up to speed. Most likely IGZO-based OLED. It's unlikely that Apple would want to spend the time and money developing LCD panel technology enough to enable Retina-class resolution without increasing the iPad mini's weight or decreasing its battery live.

IGZO conductors are more transparent than amorphous silicon (like in current LCD screens) and also are far more efficient in conducting electrical signals. OLED pixels are self-illuminating, so there will be no need for LED backlighting. All of which means brighter screens with less power use.

Apple supposedly has a deal with Sharp, and they have supposedly developed (and patented) a new high-yield (low cost) process for depositing IGZO/OLED touchscreen circuitry onto glass panels. Will be fascinating to see that technology in Apple products.

We doubt Apple has plans for a retina mini anytime soon. To develop this tech you're talking about, along with faster chip and better battery, they couldn't price it at 329. A retina ipad mini would have 326ppi. An ipad 4 or 5 will have 263ppi. Such a product would kill the margins they enjoy on the bigger ipads.

The whole purpose of the Mini was to expand the ipad market by reaching down a bit while still making their required margins.

Can we all just be a bit more honest about this.
I like apple just as much as the next guy but the whole premise of this article is just a little too apologetic.
The mini has no retina because the second one will, plain and simple. I don't buy any of this it was impossible for them to do it and still have it be thin, light and long battery. But magically in less than 12 months they will be able too. BS.
People are bitching about it cuz even normal people are wondering wtf. Apple just squeezed on the teat a little to hard this time. It's ok to admit it. Apple always low balls new products. Look at the first iPhone. No 3G and there wasn't a good reason for not having it and it was the same bs excuses then as now. It will kill the battery and make it bigger ect. But I had a 3G phone before the iPhone and it was thinner and the battery lasted all day.
I'm also pretty sure no one gets better parts deals than apple. If they really wanted the mini to have retina at launch. It would. And it would be the same size and last all day. Don't believe me. Just wait 12 months. Or maybe 7 :)

Yes, 12 months, liquidsmoke1. That's a long time in the world of high tech, but probably just long enough to develop and integrate the components required to provide a retina display along with satisfactory battery life and performance at a competitive price.

Twelve months. Makes sense to me.

Out of all the choices Apple picked to put in their new I-pad, they should have made it alittle thicker and put in the high quality display. Apple always rants about their displays, they ruined the mini with a lousy display. I would much rather have a pad a little thicker and a great display. The Nexus is a little thicker but had the great display. Apple should stick to what for them to the dance.. Just my opinion.

Apple is sticking to what made them one of the most valued companies in the world. Selling products in the millions at a terrific margin. This product may not be for you or me, but it's already a success. As an Apple investor, it's great. As an enduser, it's a product I was never going to use.

The Nexus is almost 50% thicker, not "a little." And relative to the iPad mini, its display is 'meh.' See DisplayMate's (Dr Ray Soneira) recent comparative 'shoot-out' tests.

With all due respect Rene, but you're not an engineer. The whole post is based on your best guess, as a layman, and you should mention that somewhere. You have no idea of the difference in power consumption between a retina and a non retina display, very few people do, and the whole post comes of as a big apology in behalf of Apple by fabricating pseudo-facts that have no hard science behind them.
Sorry, present some real facts and this will be a little more believable. Until then, I'll keep believing Apple simply chose not to use a retina so it can upgrade to it next year and people will say "awesome, how they did it???? So much innovation!!", when in reality it wasn't all that hard to begin with.

I'm guessing you haven't seen how much bigger the 9.7" retina ipads are with retina. That the battery comprises almost all that space. Or that the Mini form factor would have to have a smaller battery to power just as many pixels and a more powerful processor.

If it wasn't so hard to do, we'd see 7" 326ppi or better devices as thin as the Mini everywhere along with similar performance and battery life. Show me just one .. So much innovation? Yeah right..

Well, I'm guessing you have not seen the difference, because it's 0.6mm, or 0.03 inch. If that's your argument, then there is no argument, the Mini could have been 0.6mm thicker and no one would notice or care. That argument has also been offset by incell technology, see how the iPhone 5 is larger but also much lighter and thinner than the 4/4S?
You also suggest that we don't see other similar screens because of technological limitations, and not supply chain constraints, patents, profit margins etc. There is no argument to support that assumption, only biased guesswork. The Kindle Fire HD is a 7" low cost 216 ppi device built by a company with almost no tradition in technology. If Amazon could do that at $199, I think Apple could do a little better at $329 if they wanted to, and Amazon has no incell patents or premium suppliers like Apple.

Like I said, show me one 7" tablet with anywhere near 326ppi and as thin, light, long battery life and performance as the Mini. Remember, it's not very hard to do right? Not even innovative.

I cannot show you a 7" ceramic tablet either, or one made of carbon fiber, or one with no hardware buttons at all, or one with surround speakers. The absence of those tablets is not proof that they cannot be done, just evicence that companies have chosen no to do them.

There aren't any and Apple doesn't even tout their larger iPad with Retina at 326ppi. Their "Retina" display on the iPad 4 is 264ppi, not this 326ppi that you keep referring to.

I see. But the thing is we we're talking about the ipad Mini and tablets in the 7" range. Thanks for the info.

I'm not sure why it would be just as many pixels as a Retina iPad.

"Retina" is about pixel density, not total count.

A retina screen on the ipad mini would basically be a smaller version of the ipad 4. You're correct that Apple doesn't need that high of a PPI (326 on the Mini) to have "retina" status. But Apple is pretty constrained when it comes to increasing resolution. They'll have to double it to avoid breaking apps and causing even more fragmentation.

Right on Caricoa!!! I feel exactly the same way! Rene has not ever given any links or anything that support this theory! As you stated, "the whole post is based on your best guess".

Given Apple's secrecy there's no way we can know what exactly the truth is, but this is ridiculous to assume and try to make Apple look good. (btw, I love Apple products and think they are the best.)

And I think this is the very issue that is irritating so many ppl. This whole thing is being smoothed over to make Apple look good. I wonder how this would have went if Jobs was still around.

Jobs would have happily launched this Mini and called it a success. It expands the ipad base. Apple keeps their margins. He was just as proud of the Macbook Air which won't see retina either anytime soon.

@Carioca32: "...when in reality it wasn't all that hard to begin with."

Yeah, anybody could have done it, right? I wonder why no company has yet done so...

I purchased the new iPad 4 and iPad mini at the same time, thinking I would return the one I didn't want. Contrarily to what the author says here, I find that reading a book or working on documents in Pages is actually MUCH clearer on the mini than the Retina display (I know...that just shouldn't be). I think one of the reasons is the Retina display has a greenish-blue cast to the white background and the mini has a pure, stark white "white", making it easier to read book. Couple that with its much light weight and the iPad 4 went back to the Apple Store.

I am excited for the next gen full size iPad, hopefully they decrease the bezel size, or increase the screen size slightly. The bezel on the full size ipad seems ancient after using the mini. The screen isn't as good on the mini but honestly I would rather my ipad 3 be thin and light like my old iPad 2 was because Retina is totally unnecessary so until they can deliver retina in the same package (or smaller) I am happy to be non retina. In fact when they release the retina model I will probobly wish they had a non retina version that was even smaller and lighter!

It's funny the lengths people go through to convince themselves (and others) that Apple can do no wrong. None of this changes the fact that this is 2-gen-old tech in a smaller, grossly over-priced package.

You know what else is funny, Kvoth? People who convince themselves that the latest-and-greatest from Apple's would-be rivals can even measure up let alone surpass Apple's "2-gen-old tech." In order to maintain their delusions, those people have to ignore, avoid, and deny all independent tests and comparisons by professional reviewers like anandtech, arstechnica, pcmag, and so many others. Not an easy task. My hat's off to them...

No one is convincing anyone of anything it's called a conversation or arguement. No one here is telling you or anyone else what to buy and there are actually a lot of Apple faithful who are negative on the iPad Mini not having Retina. People buy what they want, what they like, what they need and I find it funny that people go to great lengths to convince others that Apple is always wrong and selling over priced tech when really the simple solution is not to buy it themselves.

People are making such a big deal out of this and yet the iPad only got a Retina Display this year! People keep talking as if it had one all along? It's simple really if you want something light and portable get an iPad Mini, if you want something with Retina Display get an iPad 4. If you want something light, portable and with Retina get an iPhone or iPod. If none of those fill your cup don't complain it wont change anything. It seems so obvious why the iPad Mini is the way it is and yet people ask "Why didn't it come with Retina?". How do they know, because someone said so most people if it wasn't known wouldn't figure it out.

It's funny how Rene writes this article and then HTC comes out with a 5 inch device with a 440ppi display! And it's not like the device is thick. Come on Rene... stop the lies!

"Personally, the lack of Retina on the iPad mini really bothered me a lot at first. Now I barely notice it unless I'm doing something very text- or line-work-centric. When I'm watching video or playing games, I don't notice it at all. I do notice the compactness, the thinness, and especially the lightness all the time."
If the effect of retinal display is not really noticeable then what's so awesome with ipad 3? What was that hype for? Ram upgrade? Cause when ipad 3 is going to release.. People talk about how the retinal display makes the different... And now rene here says that it's not noticable.. I'm sorry.. I don't want to troll here.. But it just doesn't sounded right for me...

Next year there will be a retina ipad mini. It's really quite inevitable, because the next Fire/Nexus models will be 1080p.

Pixel density is the new Megapixel/Megahertz arms race.

You do know that the "p" in 1080p stands for "progressive scan" and the "p" in ppi stands for pixels, don't you? Otherwise, your dog just lost the fight.

Q: Will I buy an iPad mini this year if I know there will be a Retina display model next year?
A: No. I just stick with iPad 3 for now.

Q: In retrospect, would I have bought an iPad 2 if I knew there will be an iPad 3 with Retina display the next year?
A: Yes. iPad 1 was really clunky.

Q: Will I buy another 11" MBA without Retina display?
A: No. I will keep using my 2011 model.

I am guessing the upgrade that will take place the last would be my Mac Pro 2008. Hopefully it will support many more OSX versions until there are Retina display iMacs.

I call BS straight BS.... Why did Iphone have no 3G?, why did Iphone have no 4G? Why does iPhone not have no NFC?... Because they ALWAYS leave out a feature so you will want to upgrade. All the feature's I mentioned above were already out when Apple released their product. To me it's a scam that I will not fall 4. Sorry Apple I need Micro USB Micro SD, Free music from YouTube and an micro HDMI port, u know universal tools that work with "each other" not just for the apple world. Also when apple brings back jobs to America then I might consider, I mean how much richer can you get? How bout u help the US economy and stop being GREEDY, stop ducking taxes and stop shipping jobs overseas, u can't get any richer, when is enough enough?

Hey, JonathanK! How's it going? I was talking about you the other day to a friend that likes to hire the handicapped. He told me he'd consider hiring you, but prefers not to hire people with Tourette Syndrome. It scares the customers.

Hey "infuri8r" 1st have some respect for the handicapped. 2nd Tourette's, most often associated with the exclamation of obscene words or socially inappropriate and derogatory remarks, None of which u read above. How bout u come with a better reply if u r trying to insult me. come on infuri8r, infuri8 me haha

The next ipad mini 2 might not get the retina display, but a better processor a5x with non retina display. It will give almost the same performance as the ipad 4 but without the retina.
Or they could develop a new display with no airgaps, thats light and thinner plus a better battery inserted. They will not bring a5x chip with retina display on ipad mini, because of the failure with ipad 3 (with new retina) , so probably, they will use a6x processors. But i think that its going to make the ipad4 useless, killing its own product. If they want to release ipad mini with retina plus a6x processors this march, they should also announce ipad 5 as well, with lighter and newer design. Maybe ipad 5 will get thinner and lighter, but i really dont think they will put a7 processors if they release it on march, because a6x processor is already a great chip that can handle all apps really well. So in conclusion, they will release this on march:
1.ipad mini with a5x processor non retina display, maybe a ipad5 with a little bit of tweak (thinner, lighter,different design (but no a7 processors)
2.ipad mini with a6x retina display and new ipad 5 with a7 processors (unlikely to happen)
3. Ipad mini with a5x processors with non retina display , no ipad 5 release

The numbers don't lie.. you can not go from 727,040 pixels to quadruple that amount 3,145,728
without a major increase in Battery Capacity (Currently the Mini has a 16ah Battery) and GPu Processing Power.. The 554 MP4 GPu from the 4th-Gen iPad is the easy part.. But have you seen the 43ah battery in the iPad? it's bigger than the Mini.. So, if 2013 technology creates a 43ah battery small enough to fit in the Mini it's going in the Redisigned iPad 5.. Not the Mini.. The Mini is NOT the Flagship of the iPad Fleet.. And will NEVER be equal to the 4th/5th/6th+ Generation iPads.. It will always be the Cheaper alternative.. :-)

I get so tired of hearing this from iphone people, its got a retina display so its better than anything out there, higher ppi is all it is. And now on phones and tablets the other makers are makeing much higher ppi panels and no apple consumers look at them, because they dont say "RETINA" the biggest marketing ploy of apple alongside with siri! wakeup and educate yourself!

I think Apple should have warned its potential customers of the low ipad mini resolution.beacause it makes it a useless device!!

I would like to ask Rene whats the use of small and light tablet if you cannot read a web page or a book with that horrible screen!!!

(ran across this article thanks to google. It's fun reading older commentary.)

Sooo, it's September 2013. Would the author still take great pain to justify a non-retina ipad mini?

My wife loves her iPad mini. It's quite useful and, if you're not a pixel-snob, it looks great. That said, a year later, it's probably time for Apple to up their game there. The article is still correct, though: that's a lot of pixels. It would require just as many pixels as the full size iPad 3/4 in a much smaller device.