Apple’s Next-Generation iPad Mini Faces Stiff Competition

The current iPad Mini.

Apple’s second-generation iPad Mini will feature a high-resolution Retina Display, according to a recent report by The Wall Street Journal.

But Apple-centric blog 9to5Mac, no slouch when it comes to tracking down rumors about upcoming iDevices, has its own report suggesting that, while the next iPad Mini will come with a more powerful A6 chip, it will lack a Retina Display. The blog drew its information from “references in the iOS 7 SDK sent to us by a developer,” while the Journal cited unnamed “people familiar with the matter.”

The discrepancy between those reports is mildly startling, if only because Apple rumors generally tend to align when it comes to the larger details. Whether or not the next iPad Mini actually features a Retina Display, though, the fact is that Apple’s tablet will face a considerable amount of competition if it hits the market this fall.

Amazon, for example, is reportedly gearing up a refresh to its Kindle Fire tablet line, with new tablets that will feature upgraded hardware specs and the latest version of Google’s Android operating system (heavily modified for Amazon’s particular needs). According to the Boy Genius Report, the 7-inch Kindle Fire HD will include “a high-resolution 1,920 x 1,200-pixel display and a new design” as well as “a quad core Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 (MSM8974) system on a chip” capable of 2GHz.

The BGR report added that the online retailer will also update its 8.9-inch Kindle Fire HD: “Multiple sources tell BGR that Amazon is shooting for a fall launch, possibly as early as late September, and all three devices are said to currently be on track.” Although the Kindle Fire tablets are primarily mobile vending machines for Amazon’s e-books and streaming content, their low price makes them a formidable competitor to the iPad, which is marketed as a machine for more general use.

Google has already unveiled its next-generation Nexus 7, which is also relatively cheap ($230), with solid hardware and the latest Android build.

While the iPad continues to occupy a healthy share of the overall tablet market, competition from Android devices has steadily eaten away at its percentages over the past several quarters. For Apple as a company, the answer isn’t necessarily producing a next-generation tablet with all the best hardware—although that certainly can’t hurt—but breaking into new categories where it can rapidly grow, such as wearable electronics.

 

Image: Apple

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