iPad mini 2's Retina display could add 30% to component costs - report

A new report suggests that it would bring the bill of materials for its 7.9in tablet above $200 per unit

Introducing a Retina display to the next iPad mini could add 30 per cent to the overall cost of the tablet's components, a new report has suggested.

A commentary published by Taiwan-based technology news site DigiTimes claims that a Retina display would increase the total bill of materials for the iPad mini by more than $12, which would bring the overall cost to more than $200 (£130) for Apple.

It is widely expected that the iPad mini 2 will have a Retina display with a resolution of 2,048 by 1536, equal to that of the fourth-generation 10in iPad, amounting to 324 pixels per inch.

But, adopting the higher resolution display will mean that backlight modules will need to improve, and the number of LEDs used will therefore increase. This has led to the conclusion among market observers that the total cost of the iPad mini will increase by more than 30 per cent.

Apple is currently estimated to be yielding 43 per cent profit margins from the 16GB WiFi only iPad mini, without factoring in labour costs. That figure increases to 52 per cent and 56 per cent profit margins with the 32GB and 64GB models, so it's unclear whether or not the increased bill of materials will result in a bigger price tag for the consumer. However, when Apple introduced a Retina display to the full-size iPad, the consumer cost remained the same as its predecessor.

DigiTimes' commentary notes that Market observers believe the global demand for tablets this year will reach 180-240 million units with the 7in segment accounting for 45-60 per cent of total shipments.

Apple is rumoured to be hosting a special event in March or April, where some reports have suggested the company will show off new iPads, including the Retina iPad mini.

See also:

Redesigned iPad 5, Retina iPad mini 2 coming in October, iPhone 5S with 13MP camera in July - report

Thinner, lighter 10in iPad, Retina iPad mini and cheaper iPod touch expected this year

iPad mini cases, covers and accessories

Apple iPad mini review

New renderings compare iPad 5 with iPad 4, iPad mini, iPhone 5

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Ashleigh Allsopp

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