NPD Pins Retina iPad mini Production for June

Retina iPad mini production may start in JuneApple will start up production on the Retina Display version of the iPad mini in June or July, according to NPD DisplaySearch analyst Richard Shim. He also said the displays for the new iPad mini will come from LG and not Samsung.

"Samsung is currently not in the iPad Mini and they won't be in the next generation. LGD is becoming a much bigger supplier than before," Mr. Shim told CNET.

He said the new model will sport a 2048 x 1536 resolution 7.9-inch display, which is on par with the iPhone 5's resolution. That also puts the display at the high end of what our eye can discern for resolution improvements.

"We're going to start to see a bunch of tablets with a pixel density over 300," he said. "At a certain point it will be hard to discern that improved image quality."

Just because Apple will be ramping up production doesn't mean we'll be seeing Retina iPad minis on store shelves this summer -- assuming Mr. Shim's sources are correct and production really is about to begin. If so, a June production window would fit nicely with a September product launch, and that aligns with Apple CEO Tim Cook's comment that there won't be any big product announcements until fall.

Apple doesn't comment on unannounced products, so there isn't any guarantee that a Retina Display is part of the planned upgrade for the next iPad mini, or that it starts production in June. Still, the timing seems to fit, making Mr. Shin's report plausible.