Apple rumour round-up: iPhone sales disappointing, Retina Display on iPad Mini 2?

Allan Swann
January 14, 2013

The iPhone 5’s sales have stumbled already.

While Apple usually likes to crow about how successful their latest releases have been, it would appear that one half of the iPad Mini/iPhone 5 double whammy may not have gone as well as the company had hoped.

While the iPad Mini is still selling like hot cakes, the Wall Street Journal is reporting that the iPhone 5’s demand may have tailed off more sharply than expected. Apple has cut back its orders for components significantly, especially screens – which have dropped by half.

The company is facing increased heat from Android smartphone makers, especially Samsung, which overtook the company to become the largest smartphone maker. The debacle surrounding Apple Maps and iOS 6 has not helped Apple customers, especially since the latest version of Google Android Jellybean 4.2 has been receiving rave reviews.

Customers may also be holding on to their pennies until the launch of Samsung’s latest flagship, the Samsung Galaxy S4 – which was rumoured to have been demoed to select executives at CES in Las Vegas. Samsung will probably make a formal unveiling at Mobile World Congress in late February, with an eye to releasing it in May – as it did with the S3 last year.

The Samsung Galaxy S3 has sold 40 million units thus far.

However, despite What Mobile’s poor review of the iPad Mini (we weren’t happy with the low-res screen and high price) it has sold an estimated 10 million units since its unveiling in October. Apple still holds more than half of the entire tablet market, according to Morgan Stanley. What may be worrying Apple is cannibalisation of its larger iPad models, although Wired is claiming that 47% of iPad Mini purchasers are new buyers.

It is now being suggested that Apple will not only unveil a new iPad Mini 2 with Retina Display in March, but potentially an iPad 5 – just months after the iPad 4 launch (October) which was just 6 months after the iPad 3 launch (both are now referred to as ‘iPad with Retina Display’ – to make it confusing).

One of our key flaws in the iPad Mini was its components – namely, it was a rebadged and shrunken iPad 2 (1024 x 768 screen and all)- a dated piece of technology. The iPad Mini 2 is expected to get an improved processor, a 2048 x 1536 screen (or whatever Retina Display equivalent Apple goes for in the new 7-inch model).

This should help it justify the hefty price tag of £269, compared with its other 7-inch rivals, which hover around the £159 price range.

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