The iPad mini has been on sale since November 2012, so when will we get the iPad mini 2?
It seems like Apple was surprised by the iPad mini demand - it shifted three million units of the new iPad 4 and iPad mini in three days alone. so it will be looking to make something that can really wow the crowds with the follow up.
The likely scenario is that the iPad mini 2 will have an even sharper display of 2,048 x 1,536 pixels packed into the same 7.9-inch space, which will bring it closer to the impossible sharpness of the Nexus 7 2013.
When retailers start to price cut that can sometimes mean they're making way for a newer model, and as Cult of Mac notes, in the US that's just what Wal-Mart, Best Buy and MacMall are did on Wednesday 3 April, reducing prices of the iPad 3 and iPad mini prices by about 30%.
It seems a little bit early to be bringing the cost down as, like last year, the iPad mini 2 will launch in October, before being released onto shop shelves later that month, or perhaps spilling into November.
And could the iPad mini 2 also have the A5X processor under the hood? It seems likely, but as GottaBe Mobile reports, it's unlikely that Samsung will be the manufacturer of whatever part appears in the device.
And don't forget about iOS 7 - that's the new platform for Apple, and no matter what version of the tablet launches later this year, the iPad mini 2 will be on the latest version of iOS.
iPad mini 2 release date
With production of the sharper screens projected to start by the later half of 2013, the iPad mini 2 release date is almost certain to land in the run up to Christmas.
According to analysts, the iPad mini 2's production has already begun, with leaked documents and factories already revving their engines to bring the new device to market. The price drops are continuing too, so the likely October / November iPad mini 2 release date seems nailed on.
To corroborate this, BGR cites a pair of reports that agree with the late 2013 release date, in time for the Christmas rush. Indeed, Apple Insider reckons that development issues have caused the new iPad mini to be delayed along with the cheap iPhone and iPhone 5S, but will still hit the all important Christmas rush.
Bloomberg has more recently cited 'sources' saying that the release is imminent, but there is one horrendous idea being bandied about: that Apple will simply 'refresh' the iPad mini (the iPad mini S?) and save the new, Retina-powered device for 2014.
Say it ain't so...
iPad mini 2 casing
Images of what could potentially be the casing for the new iPad mini 2 leaked online in February. The photos come courtesy of the Chinese Weiphone forum, showing a silver rear casing for an iPad mini.
Most immediately noticeable on the casing is that the Apple logo and text is a sky blue color, rather than the typical black.
After you get over the color distraction, the more important point is a more subtle difference from the current mini, in that the casing appears to indicate a thicker device that the existing model.
The iPad gained a little extra girth when Apple upgraded it to a Retina display, so a thicker casing in these alleged iPad mini 2 shots seem to point to some Retina presence in this model.
Another, more likely faked, prototype has appeared, shorn of the usual iPad markings and regulatory notices as above, but does seem to corroborate the notion that Apple is keeping things the same with the new iPad mini.
It seems that there's a chance we could see two iPad mini versions coming when the device is launched later this year; a refreshed iPad mini that just gets a little speed bump, and the iPad mini 2 with a Retina display... here's hoping that it causes competition in the market and pushes prices down. We all want that.
iPad Mini 2 display
The grown up iPad 4 has a Retina display, and the next mini really needs Retina tech or something similar to allay the annoyances of those that eschewed the first iPad mini.
It makes sense that the biggest criticism of the current iPad mini so far is its relatively low 1,024 x 768 resolution. Critics wonder why a Retina display wasn't incorporated into the first iPad mini to begin with, but it seems it was largely to do with the speed of the product's announcement.
Some said Apple went with a lower resolution so it had some low hanging fruit to grab for the next upgrade. Production problems surrounding the iPad mini might also be the culprit - something that may well be holding back an iPad mini 2.
The forthcoming iPad mini 2's retina display is said to have a resolution of 2,048 x 1,536 pixels, doubling the current iPad mini's 1,024 x 798 screen and packing more pixels than the iPad 4's 264 ppi. In May 2013, NPD DisplaySearch predicted a 2,048 x 1,536 pixel display which will have a pixel density over 300ppi.
There are reasons not to worry about the iPad mini 2 coming with a thicker case to accomodate the Retina display. As we saw with the iPad 4, could a better iPad mini 2 display also mean a bulkier product? Not it, as rumours suggest, the screen is a tough Sharp IGZO display. Other rumours point at several manufacturers being involved.
The more recent trend of rumour-mongering is to claim that Apple still doesn't know whether it's going to whack a Retina display on the new iPad mini, with the first such notion appearing in July, in order to make the iPad mini even sleeker and bezel-less.
This was corroborated then refuted later in the same month, with developers noting that the code in the new iOS 7 platform didn't contain any mention of a higher-res display for the iPad mini.
However WSJ sources think this is total nonsense, with Samsung joining Sharp and LG in making the new screen for the iPad mini 2... which would make more sense if Apple is going to make enough of the things.
Our take is simple: we'll bet the house on the iPad mini 2 having a Retina display. Anything less and Apple would be too far behind the current trend for super-clear devices to have a hope of selling anywhere near as many units.
iPad mini 2 specs
In addition to an Apple A6X processor, an 8 megapixel camera is also expected to sit on the rear of the device.
Any other information on the specs of the upcoming tiny tablet have been few and far between, with the main focus on the display and case. However the battery will need to be boosted to accomodate the new Retina display, and we'd therefore expect an uprated GPU to help things out.
iPad mini 2 price
When the iPad mini was first released, reports said the steep price point of $329/£269/AU$369 was due to manufacturing difficulties. Indeed, well into early 2013, iPad minis were not shipping quickly.
The new GF DITO touchscreen technology that helps make the mini so small is reportedly one of many production hurdles.
AU Optronics (AUO), the company that produces the current iPad mini LCD panels, was also having yield issues with the mini screens at first, so a Retina-like display could have caused additional production headaches.
However, AUO claims it smoothed out production problems surrounding the current panels, already resolving the light leak issues that held up fabrication.
Would a retina display iPad mini 2 also push the price upwards? There may also be retina and non-retina variants to keep the basic price low, which would satisfy a number of consumers while still maintaining the Apple tradition of keeping all its Christmas products shiny and new.