Apple's second-generation iPad mini, dubbed iPad mini 2, could have a Retina display with a pixel density of 324 pixels per inch, even higher than the iPad 4's 264ppi Retina display.

Investment news service BrightWire reports that sources from Apple's supply chain in Taiwan have said that AU Optronics is currently piloting the production of the display for the iPad mini 2.

The sources claim that the iPad mini 2's display resolution will be 2048-by-1536, which is four times that of the current iPad mini, and equal to the fourth-generation full-size iPad.

The benefit of bringing the resolution of the iPad 4 to the iPad mini 2 is that developers will not need to adapt their iPad apps to accommodate another screen size. Apple has already demonstrated that this is a factor taken into consideration with the introduction of the iPad mini, which has the same resolution as the iPad 2.

 

The iPhone 5, however, introduced a new screen size to the iOS device line-up, showing that Apple isn't completely against the idea. While developers can create iPhone 5-ready versions of their apps for the taller, 4in display, the apps designed for earlier iPhones can be used in 'letterbox' mode, with black strips at the top and bottom of the screen.

This is not the first we've heard of a Retina iPad mini. In fact, customers were speculating such device within days of the first iPad mini's launch in October.

Whether the latest reports are accurate, it is widely expected that Apple will introduce a Retina iPad mini in the near future. While the iPad mini has received rave reviews, the downfall mentioned by most experts is the device's non-Retina display.

The full size iPad has had a Retina display for the two most recent generations, the iPhone has a Retina display, and Apple has even introduced the new MacBook Pro with Retina display, so a resolution boost is the natural progression for the iPad mini.

In January, China Times claimed that Apple will be adding a third panel supplier for its second-generation iPad mini, and that the company has already begun testing new Retina panels for the device.

As for the release date, some reports have suggested that the iPad mini 2 will arrive in March, as Apple moves towards a biannual product cycle. However, other reports disagree with these claims, stating that Apple is more likely to launch its next iPad mini in October, alongside its fifth-generation iPad.  

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