Apple's Phil Schiller introducing the iPad mini in October 2012. (Photo : Reuters)
The new iPad Mini may come with a Retina display, according to rumors sparked by a new Apple processor chip found in Apple's new Apple TV.
The details of the new Apple TV have been disclosed to the FCC and picked up by Engadget. Inside the detailed hardware specifications was a little nugget of information that has sparked the rumors, lead by Marco Arment, the mind behind the Instapaper app. What Armet noticed was that the third generation iPad has an A5X processor, which runs the Retina display without having to be the beefiest processor out there. However, that processor won't fit in an iPad mini, and would consume too much power for the iPad's little cousin anyway.
However, buried inside the specs for the Apple TV, which is slightly smaller than its predecessor, is a new processor chip that is related to the A5X, but is more compact. Arment saw that and wrote this on his blog:
"I couldn't believe that Apple would use the iPad 3's A5X in anything again since it was huge, hot, power-inefficient and too slow for... Retina iPad pixel volume. A process-shrunk A5X probably won't contain faster CPUs, but it would be smaller, cooler, and more efficient. It's obvious, in retrospect, what this is probably for: the Retina iPad Mini."
The next-generation iPad mini is rumored to be out by October, and, according to Arment, there's a good chance it will have a Retina screen. "If a process shink can make the A5X fit elegantly into an iPad Mini, a Retina model is much closer than I originally thought, almost certainly able to come out this year," said Arment. "And that will probably be an awesome device."