Two Wall Street analysts over the last 24 hours have been offering their take on the rumored iPad Mini Retina, including availability and size as well as more thoughts on Apple's new 64-bit architecture.
Late Tuesday in a note to investors, RBC Capital Markets Amit Daryanani said he will be closely monitoring the Mini Retina for availability due to "production constraints." Daryanani had this to say about the Mini that may (or may not, depending on the analyst) be introduced at Apple's October 22 event, along with the iPad 5:
iPad Mini: The new iPad Mini will include a new Retina Display on a similar form factor. Current checks suggest the new iPad Mini will be slightly thicker to accommodate the new display, but the length and width should remain unchanged. Given the cheaper price point (expected $329 for the low-end) we believe an A6 chip will likely power the iPad Mini leaving the A7 version for the higher end 10" iPad. We would monitor [Apple's] ability to overcome production constraints for the new retina display to meet the likely robust demand for the refreshed mini.
Allocation of iPads...we believe the iPad Mini will likely drive higher sales relative to the 10" refresh due to its attractive pricing. Assuming the Company is able to ship both the iPad Mini and iPad 10" for two months (Nov 1 launch) we would expect a 65/35 split between the Mini and 10".
Chris Whitmore at Deutsche Bank, in a note on Wednesday, also expects a Retina version of the Mini but had even more to say about the significance of Apple's 64-bit architecture in the enterprise, aka, large corporate accounts:
We expect Apple to refresh the iPad and iPad Mini at its event on October 22nd with the iPad receiving a spec bump that parallels the iPhone 5S including 64bit architecture, a longer battery life and fingerprint authentication (in addition to receiving a thinner profile). In addition, we expect the iPad Mini to ship with retina display and also have fingerprint authentication.
Enhanced security & 64bit architecture should drive enterprise penetration We believe enhanced security functionality on iOS hardware is likely to drive greater enterprise penetration over time (e.g. fingerprint and password authentication). In addition, moving to a 64bit architecture is important to enterprise for several reasons. First, it 'future proofs' App development and protects investment for the migration to 64bit computing over time. In short, enabling 64bit allows enterprises to build custom apps for iPads with greatly reduced obsolescence risk.
And Whitmore expects enterprise-bound iPads to come with more than 4GB of memory (which 64-bit enables) in the future.
He adds that Apple's A 7 chip "is approaching the performance specs of the low-end of [Intel] x86 [processor]." That can't be encouraging for Intel to hear.