Tim Cook has come under greater pressure from Apple’s board of directors to speed up the company’s pace of innovation, Fox Business Network reported on Thursday. In particular, Fox Business said that the board is “now worried about what’s in the pipeline” for the company and is concerned about whether it has enough “innovative stuff to keep the momentum going.” This report comes at a very interesting time for Apple, which has been very quiet throughout most of 2013 but is also preparing an army of new products to launch in the fall.
The most intriguing of these prospective new products is the next-generation iPad mini, about which we’ve read wildly conflicting reports regarding its specifications and its release date. In some cases we’ve read that Apple will release only a minor refresh of the iPad mini this fall with a Retina-equipped iPad mini model due out sometime in 2014. In other cases we’ve read that Apple’s next iPad mini will have a Retina display and will launch in time for the holidays this year.
To my mind, then, Apple has two feasible options for the next iPad mini: It should either release a minor refresh of the iPad mini in the fall while drastically lowering the price to the $200 to $250 range, or it should hold off on releasing a new iPad mini all together until it’s ready to release one with a Retina display. Simply trotting out a slightly refreshed version of the device while still charging a high premium for a vastly inferior display would be delivering poor value, however, and it’s something Apple should avoid.