With Apple expected to unveil a new iPad mini, dubbed iPad mini 2, at its special event later today, one of the biggest questions is whether or not the company will add a Retina display to the smaller tablet.

There have been doubts about a Retina iPad mini due to concerns that Apple won't be able to produce enough of the smaller Retina displays to keep up with demand for the new tablet. An analyst has this week reiterated those concerns, predicting that the iPad mini 2 will have a Retina display, but as a result will be in short supply until early next year.

Cowen and Company analyst Timothy Arcuri has said in a note to investors that customers may have to wait until after Christmas to get their hands on a Retina iPad mini, as it may suffer from supply issues similar to that of the iPhone 5s, which sold out within days of release.

Arcuri still believes that Apple will ship slightly more iPads this quarter than it did in the same quarter a year ago, with 23 million total iPad shipments expected compared with the 22.9 units the previous year.

A Retina display is high on many potential iPad mini 2 customers' wish lists, so it would make sense for Apple to add the high-resolution screen to its smaller tablet. Apple may have been forced to decide what's more important: creating the product that customers are asking for or making a less impressive product that's easier to produce. We know we'd prefer the former, even if it does mean a little bit of a delay in getting our hands on one.

In his note, Arcuri also highlighted that the redesigned iPad 5, which is expected to have a lighter, slimmer design with thinner side bezels, could help offset cannibalisation from the iPad mini 2, as it'll represent the first redesign of the iPad since the iPad 2 was launched in 2011.

You'll be able to find out for sure what the iPad mini 2 and iPad 5 offer at Apple's event today, which kicks off at 6pm BST. We'll be covering the event here at macworld.co.uk, so head on over to our Apple iPad launch event live blog to find out the news as it happens.

See also:

Analyst pumps Tuesday's iPad reveal as 'most important upgrade since 2010'

WSJ says iPad mini 2 will have Retina display