iPad 5, iPad Mini 2 with Retina on Course for an October Release Date as LG Display Ramps up Panel Production

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By Erik Pineda | July 22, 2013 10:43 AM EST

No need to wait until the first quarter of 2014 for the Retina-laced iPad Mini 2 as component supply developments from Asia suggest the second-gen 7.9-inch tablet from Apple would likely see an October 2013 release date.

The tech giant, according to DigiTimes, will be taking in sufficient delivery volumes of high-resolution screen panels from LG Display in the few months ahead, enough for the Mini 2 to reach shipments of up to three million units in the first month of Q4 2013.

Some nine million units of iPad Mini 2s are projected to be part of Apple's inventory in the same quarter, which analysts said could fall short of global demands if indeed the second edition of the compact tablet will boast of Retina display.

Note that in January this year, Apple reported that around 20 million iPad Minis were cleared from store shelves around the world. With Retina likely on board with version 2.0, the previous sales record could be easily erased, market experts said.

The new report, however, contradicts earlier indications that those anticipating the Mini 2 with Retina will have to wait out until early 2014 as DigiTimes insinuated that supply partners of Apple were having a tough time meeting the volume quota each month for Retina deliveries.

But with LG Display seemingly increasing its output, it appears Apple will be able to restore its original release date calendar for the Mini. It is also understood that Sharp and Samsung would be part of the iPad Mine 2 supply chain, the latter a last-minute addition following the production problems reportedly encountered by AU Optronics.

In line with the report, Apple is all set to issue the iPad 5 with the Mini 2 with initial targets of producing some six million units for the last three months of 2013, which should be Apple's minimum target.

As implied in earlier reports, fifth-generation 9.7-inch slate will sport a radically-redesigned profile, likely assuming the general look of the first iPad Mini while maintaining its familiar screen size.

Slimmed down and lighter, the iOS 7-powered iPad 5 is pegged for a release date that will come shortly after the iPhone 5S rumoured late September debut, placing the former to launch by the first week of October. Actual availability should come a few weeks after.

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