Apple has begun sourcing Retina displays from rival Samsung for a next-generation iPad mini.
Citing unnamed sources, The Wall Street Journal is reporting that Cupertino is working with the South Korean supplier as well as Sharp and LG in order to ensure, “adequate supply of screens.”
As well as a Retina display, the company is also reported to be working with Asian suppliers on ‘multiple colour back covers’, complimenting the much-rumoured budget iPhone that’s exported to launch this year.
The WSJ’s report rounds off with a caveat, though, stating that Apple routinely tests various designs and there’s no mention of a potential release date. This is perhaps the most import aspect of this whole report — there’s been a lot of speculation as to whether will be launching a Retina iPad mini alongside the iPhone 5S and a budget iPhone this fall (along with iOS 7 and OS X Mavericks) but this seems to get us a little closer to understanding what’s going on with Cupertino’s pint-sized tablet.
If Apple has only just begun sourcing 7.9-inch Retina displays from various suppliers, it may well be a little too late for a launch later this year, but it certainly doesn’t rule it out for 2014. This would put the WSJ’s report on par with other reports we’ve seen that pencil this particular model in for an early-2014 launch. As for those multiple colour back covers, though, we’re not so sure…