Some images that supposedly contain rear shells for the next-generation iPad mini have been posted at Chinese forum WeiPhone. The shells in the images appear to be a little bit thicker than their counterparts on the current iPad mini, which might suggest that Apple is planning to add some new internals to its smaller iPad model.
One thought shared by several outlets is that, if these shells do indeed belong to the iPad mini, the next generation model might include a Retina display. When Apple introduced the Retina display to the iPad back in 2012, that iPad was actually thicker than the previous generation iPad 2. It was a very un-Apple move, in that most of Apple’s product updates focus on making devices thinner and lighter. In this case, it was a design sacrifice necessary to house the Retina display, larger battery, and improved graphics chips that power the display. Apple making a similar decision for the iPad mini wouldn’t be a complete surprise.
Of course, there are a few characteristics of the iPad mini shells in these images that make us slightly question their legitimacy. The blue Apple logo on the shell is one. The fact that these images were posted onto a random Chinese forum as opposed to being leaked to an Apple blog or general tech news blog is another. Had these images been sent directly to an Apple blog known for publishing leaks (say, 9 to 5 Mac or Daring Fireball), we’d be able to put more stock in them.
Real or not, I doubt that we can discount the possibility of a Retina-enhanced iPad mini floating around Apple’s campus somewhere. If Apple was to release an iPad mini with double the pixels of its current model, the company would eliminate one of the only negatives for the product, and I feel that it would sell as well or better than the current minis on the shelves. The big questions are if Apple would charge the same $329 for a Retina iPad mini, and how Apple would differentiate the iPad mini from the iPad with Retina if both devices share the same high-resolution display.
Are you an iPad mini owner? If so, would you ditch your current mini to buy a Retina-enhanced model, or are you happy with your current device?
[Source: 9 to 5 Mac]