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iPad 5 rumor rollup for the week ending August 20

John Cox | Aug. 22, 2013
Latest Apple iPad 5 scuttlebutt: Rear shells, svelteness, and Retina clues from the supply chain.

Possibly, the iPad 5 could also be "smaller" in the sense of being less thick. Adopting the glass-film display technology used in the iPad mini, Apple may be able to create an overall assembly that has fewer layers and is therefore thinner and lighter than the assembly for the current fourth-generation iPad.

iPad mini 2 Retina display production is, uh, "like last year's model"
Since this revelation is about the high-resolution iPad mini, it must be important. Somehow.

"Production of displays for the expected high-resolution version of the iPad Mini is at levels similar to last year's launch of the first-generation iPad Mini, IHS iSuppli told CNET," says Brooke Crothers

He quotes Vinita Jakhanwal, director of mobile and emerging displays at IHS iSuppli: "Based [what] we are seeing in the [production] pipeline...The volumes are similar to the iPad Mini that we saw in Q4 of last year."

Perhaps the encouraging news is that iSuppli believes the Retina display iPad mini is actually being manufactured. Or, at least the display assembly itself is. But neither Crothers nor Jakhanwal thought to say anything about what kind of technology is being used for the display or, most of all, when the final Retina display iPad mini might become available.

Presumably, a Retina version of the mini, with a 7.9-inch panel, will have a resolution of 2,048 x 1,536, which is the same as the existing 9.7-inch iPad. "Because the display is smaller, however, the pixel density will increase: from 264 pixels-per-inch on the iPad 4 to about 324 ppi on the Mini," Crothers writes. "That would be, more or less, the same pixel density as the 7-inch Nexus 7 (gen 2), which has 323 pixels per inch, one of the highest per date for a tablet." The resolution for the new 7-inch Nexus 7 tablet is 1,920 x 1,200 pixels.

To drive the Retina display in the 9.7-inch iPad 3, and the physically larger system-on-chip with its quad-core graphics processor, Apple packed in a much larger battery to increase capacity. Doing that in the much smaller volume of the iPad mini is going to be difficult. In the case of the new Nexus 7, its 3,950 mAh battery is driving fewer pixels than a Retina iPad mini would have. The current iPad mini battery (via the iFixIt tear-down) is rated as follows: 3.72 volts, 16.5 Watt-hours, 4,440 mAh.

But Norman Chan, reviewing the Nexus 7's battery life for, noted that Google's new tablet is thinner and lighter than the original Nexus 7, and has a higher resolution display, a more advanced (but also more power-efficient) CPU. Yet its battery actually has less capacity than the first-generation product (15 Whr and 3,950 mAh compared to 16 Whr and 4,325 mAh).


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