Newly discovered code in iOS 7 Software Development Kit (SDK) points towards a second-generation iPad mini with improved internals, but with the same display resolution.
The news comes from 9to5Mac which was tipped by an iOS developer who has found references to new iPad mini models deep within the iOS 7 SDK.
Codenamed J75, J76 and J77, these new iPad minis are running the same dual-core “A6” chip as the iPhone 5. The A6 was a big jump over the A5 used in iPhone 4S, so this bodes well for the next-generation iPad mini. Expect better-looking games, faster-loading apps, and a general improvement in everyday performance.
App artwork references for the iPad mini models in the iOS 7 SDK lacked the “@2x” hook that is always associated with Retina Display iOS devices. The next iPad mini won’t have a beast of a display, but you get excellent battery life and lightweight design in exchange for it. Isn’t that exactly what you are looking for in a smaller tablet anyway?
In the minds of hardware enthusiasts, this does puts the new iPad mini at a disadvantage against Google’s latest Nexus 7, which now comes with a hugely improved 1920 x 1200 Full HD display.
I have no doubt that we will eventually see an iPad mini with Retina Display, but it is certainly not happening this year if today’s evidence is to be believed.