We should all know by now that when it comes to pre-release versions of iOS there is generally no stone left unturned by those investigative minds that love nothing more than ripping through the internals to see what they can find. The latest iOS 7 beta SDK release is no different, and this time it seems that a keen-eyed developer has cottoned on to Apple testing out an enhanced iPad mini, evidence of which is located deep inside of a hidden file within the SDK.
The file in question is said to list of all the Apple mobile devices that are capable of supporting the Cupertino company’s latest iOS 7 firmware, slated for a public release later this year. Additional information found within the iOS 7 firmware seems to backup this existence of three new iPad mini devices, given the model numbers ‘iPad2,8’, ‘iPad2,9’ and ‘iPad2,10’. For those who prefer Apple internal talk, then these would be referenced as J75, J76 and J77.
In regards to the actual technical specifications of the device, it’s understandable that information is limited. With that said, the exposed details do list the ‘iPad2,8’ model as being on the s5l8950x platform, which happens to refer to the current-generation A6 processor that can be found under the hood of the iPhone 5. The existence of a miniature iPad with a bumped up processor spec will definitely bring a smile to the face of those users who want a little extra power from their mini Apple tablet.
It’s undeniably good news that Apple is testing out iPad mini models with faster processing capabilities, but the internal files also bring with them some potentially sad news for users. The lack of any reference to higher resolution graphical assets indicates that none of the referenced iPad models have a Retina display. Developers in the iOS world are required to include an additional set of files in their apps for Retina capable devices, all of which are appended with @2x to allow iOS to differentiate between the different image sizes. These references seem to be missing from the exposed information.
It is worth noting that Apple is consistently testing out different specifications of their publicly available products, very few of which actually make it into the hands of the end user. With a hardware announcement expected in the next six to eight weeks, it would be prudent to prefer for a second-generation iPad mini launch without a Retina display but while still clinging onto the hope that we get a processor and display spec increase.
It has been cited in a previous report that we published that the Retina iPad mini may not be ready until 2014, and today’s report further adds fuel to an already lit fire.