The iPad mini 2 release date could suffer a set-back, new reports have suggested. Rumour has it that the delays are being caused by burn-in issues with Sharp-made Retina display panels, which could force Apple to seek supply help from Samsung.
UPDATE: Apple has started selling the iPad mini with Retina display on it's online store. As yet it hasn't confirmed when the new iPad will be available in stores. Read more here: Retina iPad mini 2 release date, specs, features
Korean news site ETNews claims that Apple is delaying the launch of the iPad mini 2 due to a burn-in problem with some Sharp-made LCD panels. According to the report, the issue, while apparently not visible to the naked eye, means panels are not meeting Apple's standards and are therefore causing a yield problem, as Sharp is said to be responsible for around 40 per cent of the Retina display panels.
"The burn-in problem was caused by the drastic reduction of the pixel size," says the ETNews report. By introducing a Retina display to the iPad mini, Apple increased the amount of pixels dramatically, giving the display a resolution of 326 pixels per inch (ppi). That's higher than any of Apple's other iPads, including the iPad Air, which has a pixel density of 264ppi. It's the same as Apple's iPhones, though.
ETNews suggests that Apple is thinking of changing suppliers to help boost yield rates, with a negotiation with Samsung Display rumoured to be a possibility, despite a Samsung deal falling through earlier this year.
"Apple was planning to receive 15 million panels from LG Display, Sharp and Samsung Display at the end of this year," reads the report. "However, as the negotiation with Samsung Display fell through, only LG Display and Sharp made it to the final list of suppliers."
It's believed that Samsung Display was the first to solve the burn-in problem with the Retina iPad mini, which has reportedly sparked a re-negotiation between Samsung and Apple over supply of the display.
So far, Apple has not announced an official release date for the iPad mini 2, instead providing a vague "later in November" time-frame, so there's no real evidence that the iPad mini 2 is delayed, yet. Current speculation points to a 22 November release date, which would likely mean an announcement from Apple tomorrow – 10 days before the on-sale date.
Prior to the unveiling of the iPad mini 2 in October, there were reports that Apple would suffer from yield issues, and Apple CEO Tim Cook has admitted that "it's not clear" whether the company will have enough of the new 7.9in tablet to keep up with demand.