Second generation iPad Mini already on the way: report

A new iPad Mini, expected to have Retina display, could be on sale next autumn.

It's the gamble that all early adopters take, that the product they've just paid a premium for could just as likely become defunct as go on to be the ‘next big thing' and is a situation most iPad 3 owners found themselves in when Apple launched a fourth generation model only 221 days later. It was a decision that caused much upset and many demands for refunds.

Now, if Chinese news site DoNews is to be believed -- and the site has a record of getting scoops through Apple's supply chain partners -- Apple could be about to pull the same stunt again, this time with the iPad Mini.

The 7.9-inch tablet has won praise and plaudits since its launch, despite some journalists' reservations about its standard-definition display, and has helped Apple to record tablet sales (3 million tablets sold in a single weekend).

But according to display manufacturer AU Optronics (AUO), the iPad Mini is already due a refresh and it claims it has been approached by Apple to develop a 497ppi screen for the next iPad Mini that would give it a 2048x1536 high-definition resolution, comparable with the Retina displays found on the fourth generation iPad, iPhone 5 and MacBook Pro notebooks and four times greater than the 264ppi display found in the current iPad Mini.

AUO is a world leader in ultra thin, ultra high definition displays and was the first company to build an HD smartphone touchscreen with a 1mm-thick border (smartphone screen borders are usually 3mm), enabling handset manufacturers to reduce the size of their phones while preserving screen size. Therefore, it would be the perfect choice for bringing high definition to Apple's 7.9-inch tablet.

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