Rumor has it that Apple will be launching a Retina display touting iPad mini later this year. According to a new report, production of those display units are now close to the 2012 launch level, meaning that mass production of the tablet may begin soon or it might be already been well underway.

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The first iPad mini was unveiled back in November 2012. During Q3, 2012 it was noted that production had been ramped up for the tablet’s display, this had led many to speculate that the tablet would be launched sometime around the holiday season. IHS iSuppli, a market research firm, says that production volumes for the Retina display panels are now similar to the launch levels from last year. They believe that LG is going to be the primary supplier of these panels with Sharp joining the supply chain later in the production cycle.

There has been much speculation regarding the iPad mini. Many believe that a Retina display touting 7.9 inch iPad won’t be released until next year. However over the past few weeks we’ve seen a number of reports that claim that Apple will definitely be launching a Retina iPad mini this year. Nothing is known for sure as of now, Apple itself has not yet commented on plans for the second generation iPad mini.

If the upcoming tablet does have a Retina display, it would tout an impressive resolution of 2,048×1,536 pixels which amounts to 324 pixels per square inch. No design related changes are expected, however the next generation iPad mini will reportedly come with an improved internal hardware package. No word as yet on when Apple will ultimately release this tablet in the market.

Source: [CNET]