Assembly of the fabled iPad mini has finally begun, according to The Wall Street Journal, citing unnamed executives from component suppliers to the device’s manufacturers in China. According to Journal's report, Apple’s “Retina” display has not made its way into the new iPad mini.

Assembly of the fabled iPad mini has finally begun, according to The Wall Street Journal, citing unnamed executives from component suppliers to the device’s manufacturers in China. According to Journal's report, Apple’s “Retina” display has not made its way into the new iPad mini.

While the device will be utilizing the same LCD technology that Apple uses in the iPad 3, it does not have a high enough resolution to be considered "Retina". In order to qualify as a Retina display, pixels that make up the screen must be undifferentiable to a person of average (20/20) eyesight at an average viewing distance.

Apple products are very closely associated in the public eye with simplicity, smoothness, and a certain kind of shine which has come to characterize them. This trend has largely continued with the iOS line of products, such as the iPhone and iPad.  Apple began including Retina LCD displays with the products, starting with the iPhone 4 and fourth generation iPod touch.


Steve Jobs, demonstrating the difference between a standard and Retina display

For the current iPhone 5, Retina is a resolution of 1136×640, which comes to 128 pixels per centimeter (326 per inch). The current third generation iPad also boasts a Retina display of 2048×1536, which comes to a smaller pixel to area ratio than in the iPhone and iPod touch. Still, it's Retina, and that's a significantly better screen than what most competitors have.

Multiple reasons can be induced for why Apple has opted not to include a Retina display with the iPad mini. The most obvious one is price. While few tablets may have what it takes to compete with the iPad’s specs and aesthetics, as far as economy is concerned, rivals such as the Kindle Fire HD win the crown.

It is completely plausible that Apple is trying to trim down the cost of its newer product, while keeping it good enough to buy.

The Wall Street Journal did not reveal what the resolution of the iPad mini may be, but it is rumored that the mini will have a 7.85-inch screen, as opposed to the current iPad’s 9.7-incher.

Source: InformationWeek via The Wall Street Journal