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iPad mini Retina rumours off to an early start

But it’s not coming anytime soon

Well that didn’t take long. There is already talk of a Retina iPad mini, supposedly slated for late 2013.

Chinese tech site DoNews reports that AUO is already working on a 2048x1536 screen for the new mini. Squeezed into a 7.9-inch screen, the screen would have a 324ppi, well above the iPad 4.

We all know the iPad mini will get a Retina screen sooner or later, but it’s not as straightforward as slapping a new panel on it. The iPad mini is very thin and light, but adding a Retina screen would result in a bulkier device. Apple would have to upgrade the processor and battery to make it work.

It should be possible with next generation A15-based processors, but probably not the current crop of Apple SoCs. The A6 would probably struggle with such a high resolution, while the A6X is too big and needs plenty of juice.

The question is, when will Apple have a new in-house chip design that can cope with Retina, without the necessity for a massive battery like the one in the 9.7-inch iPad. It’s quite possible Apple will have something by the end of 2013, which means the current generation iPad mini will be around for quite a while.

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