Is Apple’s Rumored Retina iPad Mini Coming in 2014?

iPad Mini 2012 AppleAccording to the latest industry insider leak, Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) fans will finally be able to get their hands on the long-awaited Retina iPad mini in the first quarter of 2014. The most recent Retina iPad launch date estimate comes from a United Daily News report via Apple Insider. Previous rumors suggested that the iPad mini with Retina display would be launched in the fourth quarter of this year.

The current iteration of Apple’s iPad mini features a 7.9-inch display with a 1024 by 768 screen resolution. The upcoming version of the iPad mini is expected to feature a 2048 by 1536 screen resolution.

This latest Retina iPad mini launch date forecast is in line with a prediction made by DisplaySearch analyst Richard Shim late last month. Shim predicted, “Another iPad mini is also planned for production but not until early 2014. That device is expected to feature a QXGA (2048×1536) [Retina] resolution display and the iOS 7 operating system.”

Although KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo disclosed in a note to investors in April that some suppliers were having production difficulties with the iPad mini 2 Retina display, he predicted that the device would still be ready for production by October 2013, reports Apple Insider.

Earlier this month, ETNews reported that Samsung (SSNLF.PK) will likely be producing Retina displays for the next-generation iPad mini and iPad. Although Apple has been trying to reduce its dependence on Samsung for components, it may have had little choice in using the Korea-based conglomerate, since Samsung Display is one of the few manufacturers of thin glass material needed for LCD displays.

Whenever it debuts, Apple’s next-generation iPad mini is likely to be a success. Market research firm Gartner reports that the iPad mini accounted for 60 percent of overall iOS sales in the first quarter of 2013.

Here’s how shares of Apple traded in the past week:

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