Evan Niu, writing for The Motley Fool:
A fresh report from China’s Economic Daily News believes that Apple has indeed delayed the Retina iPad Mini’s launch until early 2014 because of the troubles it’s having.
Apple can’t afford to wait that long.
Rivals are expected to beef up their displays even further with their 2013 models, up to approximately 1920 x 1200, in which case even Apple’s strong iOS ecosystem may not be enough to defend against rivals. A Retina display is expected to use the same approach of doubling pixel dimensions, which would put it at 2048 x 1536. Apple is also unlikely to just ship a different display inside as a temporary solution, since there are negative consequences to its platform in the form of hardware fragmentation and app compatibility.
I think “can’t afford to wait that long” is a little dire. I don’t think most people care that the iPad Mini is non-Retina at this point. That said, however, I do think that a Retina iPad Mini would be close to being the perfect tablet. You’d hit the trifecta then: ideal weight, size, and screen.
Personally, it’s Retina or bust for me — which is precisely why I passed on the first iPad Mini.