The Wall Street Journal, generally a reliable voice in the whispers-and-shadows world of Apple rumors, is saying Apple's suppliers are gearing up to produce an iPad Mini with a retina-resolution display.
Interestingly Apple is said to be seeking supply of the LCD units from Samsung, LG, and Sharp. It originally wanted to leave Samsung out of the equation, but had to fall back on its frenemy as a supplier to ensure it had enough material in its supply chain. There's also a hint that Apple is considering different-colored backs for the next-generation Mini. The only other detail is that the "size" of the new tablet is said to be the same as the existing 7.9-inch version.
Putting a retina screen in the tablet would be a surefire way of keeping the device relevant--particularly since Google is trying all sorts of tactics, including dirty tricks, to promote its high-resolution Nexus 7. But there's also the possibility that Apple may sell a cheaper, lower-resolution version with colorful backs.
Of course, there have been numerous rumors about Apple's next-gen iPad Mini. The notion that the device would get a screen boost has come and then been denied repeatedly. The next Mini is likely to be critical for maintaining Apple's market share in the tablet market, riding on the back of the highly successful first generation.
[Image via Flickr user: Mike Lau]