Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) may be unable to roll out its new iPad mini with a revamped retina display by this holiday shopping season due to shortages in Apple’s supply chain, sources familiar with the matter told Reuters on Wednesday.
Retina is defined as a kind of screen display that’s so detailed the human eye can’t see any pixelation. Tablets from rival companies like Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) and Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) have the super-sharp retina displays, and so Apple will be left behind by that competition if the company is unable to roll out a tablet with the retina display. Sources said that Apple has only lined up its supply chain to put the high definition screens on the iPad mini very recently, meaning the tablets will only be available in very limited numbers through the end of the year.
Those sources told Reuters that the new iPad mini will be unveiled near the end of this month, along with the iPad 5. As with most smartphone and tablet updates, the device will likely have an improved screen and camera while becoming lighter and thinner. It has been rumored that Apple is holding a mystery event on October 15 during which it’s likely the company will announce the new iPad line-up, but there has been no confirmation from Apple on that.
There has already been some speculation that the new iPad mini won’t be ready for an October launch at all, much less for holiday shoppers. The sources who spoke to Reuters said that Apple could either decide to make the limited quantities available by the end of the year, or could wait until 2014 for a full release of the next generation iPad mini.
Google released its Nexus 7 tablet with the retina technology in July, and Amazon unveiled its new line of Kindle Fire tablets last week. With that kind of competition on the market, and the fact that Apple’s iPads are much more expensive than rival tablets, not having the new iPad mini available by the holidays could cause consumers who would’ve preferred an iPad to defect to a different brand.
Follow Jacqueline on Twitter @Jacqui_WSCS