The iPad Mini 2, or retina model will enter into its mass production phase starting in the beginning of the summer.
Analysts originally predicted it would begin production later on in the year in preparation for a Q1 2014 launch, but a new report from CNET states that these same analysts now claim it will arrive much sooner, and will begin its mass production phase in June or July.
This would most likely lead to a iPad Mini Retina launch in between the months of July and September.
Another report surfaced just yesterday which stated that Apple was planning to release two new versions of the iPad Mini in the very near future. Both of these models will come with a Retina display. However, the second version will feature a more powerful processor.
"We see two refreshes coming," DisplaySearch analyst Richard Shim told CNET in a recent report. "One in the second half of this year, then one in Q1 of 2014. The Q1 device will have a Retina display plus an updated processor."
The report also reveals that Apple will release the first new version towards the end of 2013.
KGI Securities analyst Mini-Chi Kuo also weighed in on the iPad Mini tablet recently, stating that technical challenges with the retina model were delaying its release. He did not provide readers with a specific prediction for the tablet's release, but he instead outlined three possible scenarios, showing it launching in between September and November of 2013. This falls in line with Shim's prediction, as he also stated that Apple will launch another iPad Mini towards the end of this year.
Apple is also expected to release its 5th generation iPad this year as well.