back to article Screen grab by Google, Amazon could delay Retina iPad mini – report

When Tim Cook was Apple's COO his tight control of the supply chain was legendary in the tech industry, but now the company is reportedly facing problems sourcing the components needed for its next generation of tiny iPads. Multiple sources have told Reuters that the widely-expected iPad mini with a Retina display, something …


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  1. NoneSuch Silver badge

    "He is predicting that the new full-sized iPad and its Retinal mini counterpart will be running the same silicon – Apple's 64-bit A7X processor. This could give Apple a valuable boost in processing power,..."

    And a corresponding loss in battery life. Tabs don't need all that power with intelligently written code. They are not laptops, nor should they be designed to run as such. Problem isn't the processors. Its the inefficient and bloated code people put through them.

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    2. Dave 126 Silver badge

      >Tabs don't need all that power with intelligently written code. They are not laptops, nor should they be designed to run as such.

      ...and 640 k ought to be enough for anybody etc.

      Why the hell shouldn't a tablet act as a portable Photoshop device (with the RAM requirements that can entail), especially since the damned things usually have more pixels than laptops?

      Look at what Wacom have just done:

      It's a high quality Wacom digitiser (as opposed to the cheaper Wacom units featured of other vendor's tablets) on top of a 13" Android powered tablet that becomes a dumb monitor/digitiser when plugged into a Mac or PC.

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      2. Pookietoo

        Re: Why the hell shouldn't a tablet ...

        Because a mobile device is pretty useless if you need to keep plugging it in?

      3. Rob

        That isn't the half of it...

        ... was at a seminar recently and Wacom were demo'ing their new tablets, the Android device was good and I had a chat with the guy on the stall as I had my Note II in my hand at the time, I put it away quickly to play with the Windows Surface device that was running the full Adobe Cloud suite and it was heavenly, the best tablet device I have picked up in a long while that I could actually use for work. If I had the money I would buy one yesterday.

    3. LarsG

      As usual the 'leaks' begin before the product is announced, generating interest and speculation which is all that Apple desires. It's Advertising Jim Apple style............

      1. Frank Bough

        You know what...'s not Apple leaking this stuff, they are so insanely secretive that they don't even reveal new product releases to their own international subsidiaries. This is all speculation based on Chinese component chit-chat.

    4. SuccessCase

      Register, can you explain why you have deleted my post pointing out a shortfall in truthfulness in this article (and getting more up-votes than down votes) instead of responding to it? I have very simply referred to the source article you have cited and it doesn't say what you have claimed it does, namely that supply chain sources have said the iPad mini display is delayed due to Amazon and Google tablet displays crowding the iPad display out of the supply chain. In the absence of an explanation for this apparently incorrect, information contained in this article, I can only assume you don't like the truth when fiction sounds more interesting.

      The truth is there for all to see, within the link you kindly supplied, if they care to look. Go on, delete this second comment, and prove beyond doubt you have no principles, don't like being subject to the scrutiny you or criticism you subject others too and in fact are a bunch of hypocrites.

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    1. Steve Todd

      A quote from the competition discredits it now does it?

      The advantage that the A7 has isn't in its 64 bit ness, but in the ability to run the ARM8 instruction set. This is cleaner, easier to compile, provides a lot more registers and generally runs code faster at the same clock speed. That in its self is worth having.

      1. SuccessCase

        Re: A quote from the competition discredits it now does it?

        Why The Register are republishing a link to their discredited article on Apple's move to 64 bit is beyond me. People who are in touch with the tech know they got it wrong:

  3. ItsNotMe

    Your words coming back to haunt you Stevie & Timmy?

    "During the Q4 Apple earnings call, Cook addressed words spoken by Steve Jobs in the past regarding a 7-inch tablet:

    On comments that Steve made before about 7 inch tablets, let me be clear, we would not make one of the 7 inch tablets, we don’t think they’re good products, we’d never make one.

    In case you’re wondering what Steve Jobs said about the 7-inch form factor, here’s his original quote:

    7-inch tablets are tweeners: too big to compete with a smartphone and too small to compete with the iPad. ….7-Inch tablets are dead on arrival.

    Jobs had more to say in his day about the smaller tablet:

    While one could increase the resolution to make up some of the difference, it is meaningless unless your tablet also includes sandpaper, so that the user can sand down their fingers to around one-quarter of their present size. Apple has done expensive user testing on touch interfaces over many years, and we really understand this stuff.

    There are clear limits of how close you can place physical elements on a touch screen, before users cannot reliably tap, flick or pinch them. This is one of the key reasons we think the 10-inch screen size is the minimum size required to create great tablet apps. "

    1. Tom 35

      Re: Your words coming back to haunt you Stevie & Timmy?

      I moved from an iPod touch, to a Nexus 7. Didn't want an iPad, too big for me.

      1. Anonymous Coward

        Congratulations Tom 35!

        Your medal is in the post.

    2. Charlie Clark Silver badge

      Re: Your words coming back to haunt you Stevie & Timmy?

      Jobs was right about the problems of scaling and the I-Pad mini breaks his rules. More info on the problems caused by the I-Pad mini in an article on ALA last year: Apple just shrank everything by 40 %.

      Google has a more sophisticated way of dealing with screen sizes and pixel density which means that UI controls stay usable on virtually all the devices.

      Personally, I'm not a great fan of the 7" form factor but it is undeniably more portable than 10": significantly lighter and fits in handbags or rucksack side compartments.

    3. Roland6 Silver badge

      Re: Your words coming back to haunt you Stevie & Timmy?

      What is interesting about Steve Jobs comments is that he was making these negative comments about 7-inch form factor after Apple had released the iPhone, which is effectively a micro tablet...

      1. Steve Todd

        Re: Your words coming back to haunt you Stevie & Timmy?

        Erm, he said that 7 inch tabs were too small to display things well and too big to be truly portable. This doesn't translate as "phones are bad", but rather that phones are good at some things, tablets at others.

        1. Roland6 Silver badge

          Re: Your words coming back to haunt you Stevie & Timmy?

          Agree it doesn't translate as "phones are bad", just that Jobs didn't know what he was talking about.

          If an iPhone screen doesn't require "sandpaper" then why does a 7 inch need "sandpaper"?

          Yes we know that Jobs was, for reasons best known to himself, anti-pen input, which clouded his judgement, but we should remember that smartphones broadly gave a screen area broadly equivalent to a pocket diary/notebook, the 7-inch is similar to a filofax, and a 10-inch an A5 desk diary/notebook. So I would suggest the form factors are useful, only you need to know what it is you are targeting and design the UI accordingly. But as we've seen Apple were unable, for whatever reasons, to make iOS meaningfully support three different screen dimensions.

  4. NPCO543

    "According to one source, Apple also is considering a budget iPad Mini"

    And of course, sources were spot on with the reports of the cheap iPhone 5C, weren't they? It always amazes me how much sources are parroted when they're dead wrong 95% of the time.

    1. Eddy Ito

      The source could be right

      It just requires translation as I believe "cheap" or "cheaper" when relating to Apple means a lower cost for Apple hence a greater margin not a lower cost for the consumer of Apple products.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    As usual more guesswork and rumours ;(

  6. R 11


    An extra 8GB of flash would surely cost well under $10. I'm struggling to see how keeping it to 8GB is essential for them to price competitively enough for the Chinese market.

    On the other hand, it may be sufficient to encourage product replacement in a year or two buy those who foolishly buy such a low specced tablet. That, to me at least, seems much more plausible.

    1. Tom 35

      Re: 8GB?

      If they have a base model with 8 GB then they can charge $100 more (at Apple double the flash is always $100) for the current base model with 16 GB.

    2. Piro Silver badge

      Re: 8GB?

      Apple maths, where small amounts of NAND give massive bumps in retail prices.

      As we all know, the flash isn't the problem.

      1. Fletchulence

        Re: 8GB?

        If they're talking about competing based on price that appear to indicate they don't understand their own brand.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Based on how inaccurate these 'reports' have been and how wrong anal-ysts have often proven to be I'm surprised people still listen.......

  8. Stu

    Current iPad Mini

    I own an iPad Mini, and I'm no fanboi, I'm happy to lambast Apple products if they don't meet up to the standards of Apple products and innovation hype (*COUGH* iPhone 5S). However the current Mini, as far as I'm concerned, isn't bad at all with it's non-retina screen - it really isn't worth the upgrade to this supposed new retina model.

    Sure 1024x768 seems pretty crappy, as it was on the full size iPad, however it's squeezed into a smaller footprint, and kind of works well at that DPI. In all honesty my eyes can't really discern a significant difference, although I can tell the difference between it and my SGS4 1080p screen, it's far from a showstopper and isn't a disappointment, text still looks really smooth and images crisp and colourful.

    Put it this way, when Sammy squeezed 2 million pixels into my SGS4, this is the whole miniaturisation thing going a little too far.

    Only young fresh eyes can probably tell the difference. As for this whole pixel miniaturisation thing, its a great idea up to a point. Ask yourselves this question - Can you look at a 1080p movie on any of the permier 1080p phones and see the same level of detail as on a blu-ray on your telly. I doubt it.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Screen grab my arse.

    Ugly arse pics aside, obviously Apple's penny pinching had them ordering more cheap low resolution ones.

    Apple plan things well ahead sp power to the peasant mutineers, Retina will now arrive.

    And better late than never.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Tall stories.

    "But Apple has also set tough power-saving benchmarks that aren't being reached by manufacturers"

    With necessity the mother of invention, we are all going to visit the cock and bull.

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  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    No fanboy

    "Only young fresh eyes can probably tell the difference. "

    I dare not hazard a guess as to what a real fanboy would say.

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