More clues are emerging that Apple is cooking up the next generation iPad Mini with Retina display as reports emerged that suppliers of the tech giant have commenced work on the small tablet's second serving, this time with a brighter screen display.
One of them, according to Taiwanese publication DigiTimes, is AU Optronics, reportedly tapped by Apple to supply the display panel that will be used for the iPad Mini replacement, rumoured to debut on second half of the year.
The same Chinese firm is an existing supplier for the first Mini and has previously encountered problems in meeting the panel supply quota set by Apple. Now the same report indicated that the company has ramped up its efforts of delivering the required monthly supply of display panel for the iPad Mini.
"AU Optronics has solidified higher yields as of the first quarter in 2013, which will help keep the iPad Mini in supply as well as most likely push up (the firm's) tablet panel shipments on year in 2013," DigiTimes said.
AU Optronics makes the AH-VA wide angle panel components that Apple deploys with its bestselling 7.9-inch slate.
This same supplier has struggled to level up with the Mini demands late last year, leading to Apple's longer back delivery time for the tablet. This week, however, Apple has moved up the Mini's online delivery status to 'in stock', which means supply of the device has normalised.
Note that Apple CEO Tim Cook has earlier reported that the iPad Mini sold some 23 million units in Q4 2014 while lamenting that the numbers could have been higher had more units were available for immediate shipment.
His remarks indicated of a glitch in Apple's supply chain at that time, which appears resolved by now, allowing the tech giant to focus more on the production of the iPad Mini 2.
The second take, according to whirling speculations, will finally deliver what was noticeably missing when the Mini was introduced late last year - the crisp image and video rendition of Retina.
Now the pieces of clues are falling into their proper places, supporting strong suggestions that Apple is currently in the process of producing the iPad Mini 2 that includes the much-awaited upgrades.
The only catch bugging analysts is how Apple will keep the Mini's price point attractive to consumers despite the perceived jumps in specs, which should include faster processing and higher RAM?
The Mini debuted with a starting price of $US329 and many are hoping Apple will find a way to keep that level or even pull it down.