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Release delayed for iPad mini with Retina display

Hoping to get your hands on an iPad mini with a Retina display this year? Don't hold your breath.

According to a report from Taiwan's Economic Daily News, Apple's 7.9in tablet may not be outfitted with a higher-resolution Retina display until early next year. Apple had originally planned to launch a Retina iPad mini this autumn, but shortages of the updated display panels forced Cupertino to push back the release until early 2014, the report notes.

The existing iPad mini includes a 1,024x768 display, the same as the iPad 2. When the second-generation iPad mini makes its debut, it may come in both Retina and non-Retina versions, according to the report. There's no word as to how much the Retina-equipped model might cost.

Apple first unveiled the iPad mini last October, so one might think that if the company was following an annual release schedule we'd see a follow-up this year. But, as we know, Apple doesn't exactly follow a set schedule.

The company threw its traditional release rhythm into question when it refreshed its tablet line-up last October, just seven months after launching the third-generation iPad. Meanwhile, the iPhone 4S came 18 months after the iPhone 4 and Macs re-up whenever they feel like it. So, it wouldn't exactly be shocking if Apple failed to release the second-generation iPad mini this year.

But as the holiday shopping season approaches, this might be bad news for Apple, given all the other small-tablet options on the market.

Whether or not it arrives this year, there is evidence Apple has been working on a Retina iPad mini. Back in February, leaked photos showed off what looked like an updated iPad mini back casing that was slightly thicker than the current version. A thicker housing would support the notion, rumoured almost since the launch of the first iPad mini, that Apple would have to slightly increase the device's thickness to support a Retina display.