As rumors abound that Apple is working on the next-generation iPad mini with Retina Display, some are estimating that adding the hi-res panel to the smaller tablet could raise the total parts cost for the device by 30%.
According to commentary from DigiTimes, Apple’s inclusion of a Retina display suitable for the iPad mini would raise the product’s overall bill of materials by more than $12, bringing the overall tally to above $200 per unit. While the publication has been hit-or-miss with Apple hardware rumors in the past, its track record with display-centric reports has been fairly accurate.
Adding the Retina Display to the mini would not only see an increase in panel costs, but for other parts as well. An upgraded LED backlight would be needed to compensate for the increased pixel density.
In November, research firm IHS iSuppli did a teardown of the iPad mini and estimated that the tablets components cost Apple $188. The most expensive item in the mix was the iPad mini’s screen, coming in at a cost of $80. That cost is likely to have already decreased because of the increased production of the item.
The retail price of the iPad mini would likely not see an increase with the addition of the costlier screen, as the price of the full-size iPad remained static upon the addition of the Retina Display.