Apple is on track to deliver not one, but two iPad mini upgrades this year, but it isn’t clear whether both models will have high-density Retina displays, an analyst with DisplaySearch said Sunday night.
Speaking to CNet, Richard Shim of DisplaySearch said his research indicates that Apple will introduce two separate iPad mini refreshes this year, much like the iPad 3 and iPad 4 launches in 2012.
“We see two refreshes coming. One in the second half of this year, then one in Q1 [first quarter] of 2014,” Shim said late Sunday night.
The analyst then noted that the second version, slated for Q1 2014 (which for Apple begins around October 2013), will be the one carrying a Retina display.
“The Q1  device will have a Retina display plus an updated processor,” Shim said.
This is seriously bad for people who’ve been putting off their purchase of an iPad mini with high hopes that the Cupertino mammoth would introduce a Retina version early this year.
However, DisplaySearch said nothing about the first iPad mini refresh not having a Retina display.
It is also worth noting that, if Apple decides to replicate the move from last year, the first iPad mini upgrade should also have a higher-density display.
The selling point of the iPad 3 actually was its Retina display, and the iPad 4 that launched a few months later had the same screen plus an updated processor and a new type of connector.
If Apple wishes to apply the same recipe this year to fulfill sales estimates, the first iPad mini refresh should be one with a Retina screen.
Since Richard Shim expects Apple to unveil the iPad mini 2 in the second half of this year, WWDC 2013 could be the time and place for the launch.