Global consumers will get the 7.9-inch iPad Mini at a potentially higher price because fitting Retina display technology to the popular device means higher production cost for Apple.
Citing iSuppli, DigiTimes reported that with Retina on the iPad Mini 2, putting together the device forces Apple to spend 30 per cent more of the original's production cost per unit or about $US200 to come up with a higher display resolution for the Mini's second coming.
"If iPad Mini adopts the Retina display, the dots per inch (DPI) will be higher and the brightness of the backlight modules will have to improve. This also means the number of LEDs used will increase," the report said.
Likely, the next iPad Mini will be beaming out images and clips at 2028 x 1536 resolution, taking after the crystal-clear display rendition of the regular-sized iPad.
With the cost of production increasing, Apple would have to push up the Mini's retail price too, painting a possibility that the iPad Mini 2 we will see later this year is pricier than the original's starting price of $US329, analysts said.
Or Apple will keep the price at the same levels like it did when Retina was first introduced with the bigger iPad, fully aware that the competitions out there are increasingly becoming attractive with lower price but decent or even powerful specs.
One contender is the refreshed Nexus 7 that CNET said will retail for about $US200. Samsung is also releasing the Galaxy Note 8.0 but reports have suggested that the price template of the new device is quite to that of the iPad Mini.
Many consumers, however, are starting to notice other tablet brands in the 7-inch plus class as manufacturers begin to flood the market with devices that offer irresistible deals. Asus and Acer, for example, have introduced tablets that remain within the $US150 price point while Samsung's Galaxy Tab 2 7.0 sells in selected market for $US200.
Nonetheless, Apple has yet to confirm anything about the next iPad Mini but experts are convinced that the company is indeed rolling out the slate with Retina as its core magnet for consumers plus a little bumps on other specs if only to maintain a moderate price mark.
When first introduced, experts bemoaned that the iPad Mini is overprice considering its underpowered specs and the lack of Retina display.
Still, the Mini sold some 23 million units by Q4 2012, Apple said, adding that more could have been sold if supplies were able to meet the overwhelming demand.