Thursday, August 01, 2013

Sources say iPad mini 2 to sport Samsung-built Retina display

A report issued on Wednesday which said that the next generation of the iPad mini would lack a Retina display was rebuffed, the very next day. A Thursday Wall Street Journal report cites information from Apple's component makers, saying that not only will the iPad mini 2 have a Retina display, it will be built by Samsung.

The earlier report cited a lack of @2x string identifiers for the device in the latest iOS 7 beta. However, as noted in a comment in the originating post,
Remember that apple has dropped the use of @2x string identifiers in favor or the Image Assets Catalog. The lack of @2x should not be surprising for new devices that have never seen previous OS’s.
Thus, its entirely possible -- likely, as the WSJ cited supply chain sources -- that the iPad mini 2 will indeed have a Retina display.

The WSJ's sources said that the next iPad mini will use screens from Sharp, LG Display, and Samsung, as well. Originally -- in a further attempt to reduce its dependence on its biggest smartphone rival, Samsung -- Apple planned to only use Sharp and LG Display, but later relented in order to ensure an adequate supply of displays.

The current iPad mini uses screens from LG Display and Taiwan's AU Optronics Corp.

The change shows the difficulty Apple is having disentangling itself from Samsung, with which it is engaged in a patent war over Android devices. In fact, a manager at AU Optronics noted that the company does not make a profit on its current iPad mini display screens, and that:
We cannot take [Apple's] orders because our rate of output efficiency is too low to be profitable.
Only Samsung, LG Display and some Japanese display panel manufacturers are capable of making displays that meet Apple's standards, according to Wanli Wang, an analyst with CIMB Group in Taipei, meaning that Apple will be hard-pressed to divest itself of Samsung for some time to come.

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