Now that Apple’s iPhone 5 successor has arrived, attention has shifted toward what could be next for the iPad. Apple introduced its fourth-generation iPad and iPad Mini nearly one year ago, meaning that the company is due to introduce a new tablet to its family just ahead of the holiday season. With competitors such as Google and Amazon stepping up their game when it comes to smaller-sized slates, this could be Apple’s most crucial tablet launch yet.
Last year Apple sold 3 million units of its iPad Mini within its first month on the market, but will its successor deliver just the same? Here’s a look at what we may see in the next-gen iPad Mini, which could be introduced as early as Oct. 22.
The addition of a Retina display appears to be the flagship iPad Mini 2 rumor of the bunch. It makes sense that Apple would incorporate a Retina display into the second-gen iPad Mini, especially given the increased competition. Google’s new Nexus 7 and Amazon’s recently announced Kindle Fire HDX both boast a sharp 1920 x 1200 display resolution, while Apple’s iPad Mini sports a sad 1024 x 768 display. Outlets such as The Wall Street Journal and AllThingsD have reported that Apple will outfit its iPad Mini 2 with a Retina display, and a new report from NPD DisplaySearch echoes these claims.
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Apple is expected to give its next iPad Mini the same fresh facelift as the iPhone 5s. Renowned leakster Sonny Dickson, who was correct about the iPhone 5s and claims to have sources in China, leaked photos of the iPad Mini 2’s alleged casing last month. Among the photos were images of the purported Mini 2 in Space Gray, while Chinese website DoNews published photos of a gold iPad Mini. There’s no telling whether or not these images are legitimate, but Dickson’s track record has us at least mildly convinced.
A common theme among the iPad Mini rumors seems to be that Apple will borrow some features from the iPhone 5s. This means that we may very well see a Touch ID fingerprint scanner built into the iPad Mini 2’s home button. Chinese website DoNews also posted an image the alleged iPad Mini 2’s bottom bezel with the same home button as the iPhone 5s, furthering suspicion that this feature will turn up on the Mini 2.
Dickson tweeted that the iPad Mini 2 will come with the same A7 chip Apple uses for its iPhone 5s, which means 64-bit processing could be in store. We wouldn’t be surprised to see this technology turn up in the next iPad Mini since Apple has already crammed it into a phone. This could be great news for consumers, as developers will pour even more resources into developing 64-bit apps.
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Apple is expected to improve on most hardware aspects concerning the iPad Mini, so it seems likely that this will include a better camera, too. The iPad Mini 2 will reportedly feature an 8-megapixel shooter, compared to the current iPad Mini’s 5-megapixel camera, according to tech website T3. This also corroborates with indications that the iPad Mini 2 will be a tablet version of the iPhone 5s, considering Apple’s newest smartphone also comes with an 8-megapixel camera sensor.
Apple hasn’t sent out any invites just yet, but a report from AllThingsD suggests we’ll learn all about the iPad 5 and iPad Mini at an event on Oct. 22. While the iPads are expected to be the star of the show, announcements regarding OS X Mavericks and the Mac Pro line are also rumored to be on tap.
Judging by the rumors, Apple’s iPad Mini 2 is shaping up to be an oversized iPhone 5s. The big difference between the latest iPhone and the new iPad will likely be the Retina Screen. Having a sharper and more vibrant canvas will be critical for swaying tablet shoppers away from the Nexus 7 and Kindle Fire HDX–as well for optimizing Apple’s app advantage.