updated 02:28 pm EDT, Thu October 25, 2012
7.9'' panels said to be $5 cheaper than 9.7'' screens
The iPad mini's price, which sits at the high end of analyst expectations, has been partially attributed to yield issues with the tablet's 7.9-inch touchscreen. A DigiTimes report suggests the 7.9-inch touchscreen modules in the Mini are only approximately $5 cheaper than the 9.7-inch panels used in full-size iPad models.
Although the resolution is not particularly difficult to achieve with the 7.9-inch display, the iPad mini is believed to use "GF2" technology rather than the more popular "G/G" construction. GF2 is said to be thinner and lighter than the latter, helping the iPad mini fall below the thickness of its Android-based rivals.
The mass production issues are said to be a "big contributor" to the iPad mini's pricing, which is more than $100 above Google's Nexus 7 and Amazon's Kindle Fire HD. Earlier reports suggest the panel yields also caused delays in mass production, pushing the unveiling into late October.
Aside from the iPad mini information, the sources further suggested Apple will continue to sell the iPad 2 into the first quarter of 2013. The forecasts contrasts with previous analyst predictions, as the iPad mini was expected to effectively replace the iPad 2 as the entry-level model.