Next iPad Mini leaks

The iPad mini wasn’t short of fans when it was released in November last year. But as more brands vie for a slice of the global tablet market, Apple Inc.'s AAPL +0.48% shift to a “retina” display for its small tablet could help keep consumers interested.

Since the iPad sparked a boom in the tablet market a few years ago, tablet makers have been hard-pressed to woo an increasingly discerning crowd. Consumers have come to expect sharper screens and faster processors at low prices for both smartphones and tablets.  Last week,Google Inc. GOOG +1.18% released its latest Nexus 7 tablet with a high-resolution screen.
Apple’s Asian suppliers are preparing for mass production of the next version of the iPad mini in the fourth quarter, according to people familiar with the matter. The size of the next iPad mini, the people said, will likely be the same as the current 7.9-inch model.
“It’s nice to have a high-resolution retina display on the new iPad mini but hardware is no longer the key differentiator for tablets. To stay competitive, Apple should continue to improve its software  and ecosystem,  its key strength,”  said Diana Wu, analyst at Capital Securities in Taipei.
Meanwhile, Apple is also making some changes to its supply chain. For the next iPad mini, component makers have been told that Apple plans to use screens from Samsung Electronics Co. 005930.SE 0.00%’s display unit, as well as Sharp Corp. and LG Display Co. 034220.SE +1.26% – the latest indication that Apple continues to rely on Samsung, its biggest rival, for some key components. The current iPad mini uses screens from LG Display and AU Optronics Corp. 2409.TW +6.60%