Can LG Speed Up the New iPad Mini’s Timeline?

LG Display (NYSE:LPL) could soon be ready to mass produce displays that might help Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) get back on schedule, making LG an important friend for the iPhone maker.

According to the well-reputed KGI Securities analyst Ming-chi Kuo, who has a strong track record of predicting Apple’s products and moves, the next iPad Mini is expected to incorporate Apple’s high-end retina display technology, but Kuo suggested that the screen would complicate the production of the devices, which could keep the product from reaching markets as soon as other analysts have predicted.

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To top it off, Apple had its earnings call late last month, at which time Chief Executive Officer Tim Cook suggested that the company wouldn’t have any new products coming out until autumn and 2014. The dearth of products that has extended since the launch of the first iPad Mini was thus stretched into much of the foreseeable future.

Though it doesn’t necessarily refute the suggestions by Kuo and Cook that Apple won’t have a new iPad Mini out in the summer, NPD DisplaySearch analyst Richard Shim said that LG Display — a producer of the displays that went into the first iPad Mini — will be taking on a large portion of the screen-making responsibility for the next iPad Mini, which is supposedly including Apple’s signature Retina display.

According to Shim, the screens will feature a resolution of 2,048 x 1,536 pixels, which is twice the current generation iPad Mini’s resolution and nearly matches the pixels-per-inch density of the iPhone 5 screen. Very few other tablets have comparable pixel densities. Most importantly, Shim suggested that LG could begin production of the displays in June or July, which would put the iPad Mini 2 on track to be one of the earlier releases suggested by Apple. It could even see the new device launched before the highly-profitable holiday season.

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One extra bit of detail that can be gathered from the report is that Samsung (SSNLF.PK) is not involved. In the rough-and-tumble rivalries spawned by the smartphone market, Samsung and Apple are two of the bitterest competitors. As tensions grow, Apple has shown desire to move away from Samsung, which had also been a major suppliers of components for Apple’s devices. Samsung wasn’t involved in the production of first-generation iPad Mini screens, and doesn’t appear as though it will be involved in the second generation either.

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