It will be a late 2013 release date for the iPad Mini 2, which as expected is getting significant upgrades such as the high-resolution Retina display panel and a faster A7X processing chip, a new report said.
In a new research note, Ming-chi Kuo of KGI Securities, according to Apple Insider, echoed his previous projections that the Mini 2, along with the supposedly slimmed down iPad 5, will debut in Q4 2013, though the actual rollout date was not specified.
The new take is actually a reversal of Mr Kuo's earlier claims that the Mini 2 will not arrive until Q1 2014. Apparently, Apple had a change of heart as compact tablet players have ramped up the issuance of iPad Mini rivals.
Headlining the competition pack are Samsung's Galaxy Tab 3 series and Google's Nexus 7 2013 edition, which is a joint-project with Asus.
With the tablet submarket scene further tightening, Apple is compelled to push out the second-generation iPad Mini this year if only to keep its large cut of the global slate pie, which recent reports said remain above 50 per cent.
But will the refreshed Mini prove another bestseller for the tech giant? With Retina on board, which should boost the compact tablet's screen resolution to 2048 x 1536 from 1024 x 798, the upcoming tablet should be a buyer-magnet, Mr Kuo suggested.
Also, consumers will find the powerhouse A7X chip as wholly irresistible though its actual muscle could suffer from some form of under-clocking improvisations, which should deliver sufficient power to users without drying up the energy juice too quick, the analyst added.
Mr Kuo noted too that volume production of the two iPads will commence by late September following the bulk deliveries of components parts earlier in the month, en route to a possible release date that according to many Apple watchers will happen between late October and early November.
He reiterated his earlier assertions that Apple is working on two iPad Mini versions for the second upgrade cycle. After the Mini 2 release this year, "a less-expensive iPad mini model will be released," by early 2014.
"To cut down on parts costs, the current model's screen (the first iPad Mini at 1024 x 798) will be carried over to the budget tablet, as will a processor based on Apple's existing A6 architecture," Apple Insider reported Mr Kuo as saying.
While this edition is touted as the cheaper iPad Mini, Mr Kuo had reminded earlier in previous reports that the price tag on its commercial debut will not be necessarily the same as that of the first Mini, which came out in November 2012 with a starting price of $330.
As for the iPad Mini 2 and the iPad 5, the latter said to be assuming the Mini's compact look and feel, they are expected to bear the same price points of their predecessors on actual release date.
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