Wednesday, July 31, 2013

iPad mini 2 to lack a Retina display, but sport an A6 processor

As some had suspected, the new high-resolution Nexus 7 and (rumored) Kindle Fire HD Android tablets won't have any Retina display iPad mini competition this year. That's the news that emerged on Wednesday, as a reference in iOS 7 beta 4 points to a non-Retina iPad mini refresh, but with an A6 processor, at least.

According to the source, the new iPad minis are outed as the iPad 2,8; iPad 2,9; and iPad 2,10. That makes sense, as the current models are iPad 2,5 through 2,7. This points to -- as now -- one wi-fi-only model and two cellular-equipped models.

The versions of these references do not include hooks to images at a “@2x” mode, including only references to non-Retina images. “@2x” references application artwork that is built for a Retina display device. That infers that the iPad mini 2 (if that is what it is called) will lack a Retina display.

However, the references also indicate that these devices should sport an “s5l8950x” processor, which is the same A6 SOC currently inside of Apple's flagship smartphone, the iPhone 5. Although this will put the processor one iteration behind this year's iPhone 5S, it would follow last year's equation, when the mini took the iPhone 4S' A5 -- a one year old -- processor.

That A6 processor should still offer a significant performance improvement over the current A5. That also points to a non-Retina display, as the first "X" SOC, the A5X, was introduced with the first Retina iPad, the iPad 3.

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