Today, Wall Street Journal reports that Apple has started production of the so-called “iPad Mini”. Here is what FlatpanelsHD have heard about the smaller screen and the companies involved in the iPad Mini display production.
A 7.85-inch iPad Mini display
Just a few days ago Japanese blog Macotakara reported that production of the iPad Mini had started at Foxconn’s new plant in Brazil and today we hear that production in Asia has started from WSJ. Here is what FlatpanelsHD have heard from our sources regarding the LCD display.
An iPad Mini with a 7.85-inch display would be significantly larger than the Google Nexus 7 tablet, picture source: 9to5mac.com
We hear that Apple will be using a 7.85-inch LCD IPS display with similar picture quality characteristics to the displays in previous iPads. The screen size would make it an “8-inch tablet” and not a “7-inch tablet” like the Nexus 7 or the 7” Amazon Kindle Fire HD. This is not an insignificant difference as it would make the iPad Mini display 34 % larger than the Nexus 7 screen. The iPad Mini display would also be 34.5 % smaller than the current iPad displays. Remember, this is only the display. The iPad also has a bezel.
We hear that Apple will be using LCD IPS panels producing by LG.Display and AU Optronics. We previously heard that Sharp was a possible manufacturer as well but we have not heard anything since then so we think LG.Display and AU Optronics will be the only two producing iPad Mini displays at least initially. We have not heard anything about it being an in-cell touch screen (as in the iPhone 5) either but if Apple aims to make it as thin as possible they could adopt an in-cell display panel. LG is already able to produce these in large quantities as they are included in the iPhone 5 mix and AU Optronics has been researching in-cell touch technology since before 2006 so it is plausible.
We also hear that it will be using 1024x768 pixel resolution; the same resolution as in iPad 1 and iPad 2. With this resolution and a 7.85-inch size, pixel density would be 163 ppi and therefore higher than on iPad 1 and 2 (with a pixel density of 132 ppi) but not on par with iPad 3 (with a pixel density of 264 ppi) or the Nexus 7 (216 ppi). And thus, it will not qualify for Apple’s Retina category.
Added together, the “iPad Mini” would have the same screen ratio as current iPads and iPad apps can run without scaling. The screen would be smaller than the current iPads but significantly larger than the Nexus 7 and 7” Amazon Kindle Fire HD.
Apple is believed to send out invitations for the launch event on October 10.