Apple (AAPL) is poised to have a "very busy fall," according to CFO Peter Oppenheimer. That may very well include an updated version of the popular iPad mini, if the rumors are true.
The Wall Street Journal reported that Apple's next version of the iPad mini will indeed include Retina Display, Apple's higher-resolution screen that it now uses on the iPhone, as well as the larger iPad. Previously, there had been rumors that Apple would not include Retina Display in the update to its 7.9-inch iPad mini.
Rumors have persisted that Apple may indeed make two versions of the next iPad mini, as it looks to hold onto its lead in the tablet market, fending off Samsung, Google and others. According to research firm IDC, Apple owned 39.6% of the tablet market, compared to 17.9% for Samsung, and 5.5% for Asus, which makes Google's Nexus 7. It's possible that Apple could release a bigger update to the iPad mini in 2014, with a small update for later this year, though that seems unlikely, given Apple's penchant for making noticeable updates to its existing products every year.
As for what it looks like, it's expected that Apple will keep the shape similar to the original iPad mini, which was seen as an engineering marvel for its thinness, at just 7.2 millimeters thick and slim bezel, allowing the screen to cover almost the entire device. Both of these features have proven popular with Apple's customers, judging by iPad sales.
Apple sold 14.6 million iPads in its fiscal-third quarter, generating $8.746 billion in revenue for Apple. Though that number was down from the year-ago quarter, when Apple sold 17 million iPads, Apple had the added benefit of releasing a new iPad last year.
There's also plenty of chatter that the new iPad mini could come in a slew of colors. Currently, the device is only available in black and white, in 16 GB, 32 GB and 64 GB versions. If the company chooses to add colored backs to the iPad, that could help spur sales, similar to what Apple saw with its limited edition iPod Red, which the company released in accordance to help fight AIDS in Africa.
With Apple poised to have a "very busy fall," it's likely that the iPad mini will play a big part in that. I know I'll be watching with baited breadth to see what Apple cooks up for its next version.