Apple is expected to refresh its iPad mini in the second half of the year, followed by another model with a Retina display in 2014.
The next Mini, due in the second half sometime, will continue to use a 7.9-inch display with a 1,024x768 resolution but will use the iOS 7 operating system and an A6 processor in a slimmer design than the current generation, said Richard Shim, Senior Analyst for DisplaySearch.
Another iPad mini is also planned for production but not until early 2014, according to Shim. That device is expected to feature a QXGA (2048?1536) resolution display and the iOS 7 operating system.
On the larger tablet PC front, Apple is also expected to release a new iPad in the third quarter featuring a 9.7-inch 2048?1536 panel, an A7 processor and iOS 7.
DisplaySearch projects that Apple?s mix of tablet PC shipments will be 60% iPad mini and 40% iPad in 2013.
Tablet PCs with screen sizes smaller than 9 inches are currently forecasted to account for 66% of tablet PC shipments for the year. The two leading screen sizes in the small size (<9 inch) tablet PC category are 7 inch and 7.9 inch with 35% and 15% share in Q1'13 respectively. While tablet PCs with 7 inch displays appear to be heading for the low end of the market (less than $200), Apple?s iPad mini with its 7.9-inch display has captured a significant share of the market, despite its starting price of $329. Brands are hoping to expand this "middle class," gaining some share and slightly better margins than 7-inch tablet PCs.
Supply chain indications point to production of Android-based tablet PCs with 8-inch, 1280 x 800 displays in Q3'13. Brands including Acer, ASUS, Dell and Lenovo are expected to release 8-inch tablet PCs, according to our supply chain research.