iPad mini 2 retina display could add to costs

News Stacy Warden 08:40, Feb 21 2013

Will Apple end up taking a hit over iPad mini 2 component costs?

Apple's iPad mini 2 could end up costing the company far more than expected. According to a recent report, the addition of a retina display in the upcoming iPad mini (which we've also heard is already in development) could bump its overall component costs up by as much as 30 percent. DigiTimes claims that the retina display would add to the iPad mini's total bill of materials by more than $12, bringing overall cost to more than $200 for Apple. 

Let's take a look at why that might be true. The iPad mini 2 is expected to sport a retina display with a resolution of 2048 by 1536. For those keeping track, that's the same as Apple's fourth-generation full-size iPad. Packing this high resolution display into the tinier tablet will require a good deal of tweaking. Because of this, industry watchers believe that the the total cost of the device could increase by some 30 percent -- and possibly even beyond that. 

From DigiTimes:

"According to iSuppli, the price of the 7.9-inch panel is around US$32/unit and the total material cost of entry-level iPad mini is around US$188/unit. If iPad mini adopts the Retina display, the dots per inch (DPI) will be higher and the brightness of the backlight modules will have to improve. This also means the number of LEDs used will increase, and therefore market observers believe the total cost for iPad mini will increase by more than 30% if it is equipped with the 7.9-inch Retina panel."

As previously mentioned, the iPad mini 2 is also rumored to be in development already. Apple's original iPad mini launched only three months ago, but according to another DigiTimes report, that hasn't stopped the tablet maker from getting a head start on its follow up. The site claims that Apple supplier AU Optronics has increased its iPad mini display yield to one  million panels per month, and that development for the iPad mini 2's panel has begun. 

Apple is expected to launch its iPad mini 2 sometime in 2013, but details remain sparse. The Cupertino, Calif. company is also rumored to release two new smartphones this year including an iPhone 5S and/or iPhone 6. There's also been plenty of chatter about a possible "phablet," which would be designed to compete with Samsung's Galaxy Note and Note 2. Apple recently surpassed Samsung for title of best selling smartphone in the world when its iPhone 5 outdid the Android-based Galaxy S3 in the fourth quarter of 2012. 

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