I have been somewhat hesitant to post this rumor because there are a ton of technical challenges to overcome for this to come to fruition. However, there are also a few reasons to believe that the iPad mini is going retina as early as next month.
I know. Bloomberg may not be the first name that comes to mind when thinking about Apple rumor sites. Ditto, the Wall Street Journal. You might be tempted to think of these as purveyors of serious, business and financial news. But that would be somewhat shortsighted. As it happens, Apple rumors ARE serious, business and financial news. A rumor that an anticipated, Apple product is delayed, can crash the stock, while a rumor that the same product is ahead of schedule, can send it soaring. Bloomberg loves to monger Apple rumors.
The technical challenges to offering such a product are battery life, low-energy processing, size, weight, and price. The new, Nexus 7 has a high-resolution display, but graphics issues are already being reported, though, quietly. Some have been disappointed with the battery life as well. Also, that device is considerably smaller than the iPad mini when it comes to pixels. The math is complex, and I do not understand it. But those who do suggest that for the iPad mini to go retina, it would require 30% to 40% more pixels than the Nexus 7.
For Apple, these challenges are not trivial. They do not want to reduce performance or battery life, increase the size or weight, or make the product more expensive. Despite the compromises Google made with the new, Nexus 7, they still had to raise the price. There is only so much that technology will allow us to do before extracting a price. What compromises will Apple have to make to produce a Retina, iPad mini this year? Only time will tell. If Bloomberg is to be believed, we will know in less than a month. For now, it might be prudent to hold off on that iPad mini purchase.