iPad mini 2
Apple may push back the launch of the iPad mini 2 to the first quarter of 2014 as it is reportedly facing shortages of Retina Display panels. Apple

Apple Inc.’s (NASDAQ:AAPL) anticipated second-generation iPad mini has created a lot of buzz in the tech world over the past few months as the device is rumored to incorporate the popular Retina Display. But a new report Friday claimed the very same feature could be the reason behind the iPad mini 2’s delayed launch, pushing back the device’s release date to early 2014.

Although Apple originally planned to launch the 7.9-inch iPad mini 2 with Retina Display toward the end of this year, targeting holiday shoppers, the device may not arrive until the first quarter of 2014 due to shortages of Retina Display panels, MacRumors reported, citing Taiwan’s Economic Daily News.

The latest report also suggested Apple may offer two versions of the iPad mini 2 -- one with the Retina Display and the other without it. However, there were no details about how both the versions would be differentiated in terms of price and other features.

A similar forecast was made by analysts at NPD DisplaySearch in June. They predicted the Cupertino, Calif.-based tech giant would release a thinner, non-Retina Display iPad mini this year, followed by an updated version of the device with Retina Display and an improved processor in the first quarter of 2014.

“Apple is expected to refresh its iPad mini in the second half of the year. The new iPad mini will continue to use a 7.9-inch display with a 1024×768 resolution, but it will use the iOS 7 operating system and an A6 processor, in a slimmer design than the current generation,” Richard Shim of DisplaySearch blogged. “Another iPad mini is also planned for production but not until early 2014. That device is expected to feature a QXGA (2048×1536) resolution display and the iOS 7 operating system.”

The Friday report came on the heels of one from another Taiwanese publication called DigiTimes, which said this week that Apple would release its fifth-generation iPad, the so-called iPad 5, in September, while the iPad mini 2 could be delayed as Apple is “still considering whether to adopt a Retina Display for the device.”

If Apple incorporates the Retina Display in the iPad mini 2, the device will likely follow the same double-resolution approach found in the existing devices, such as the iPhone and the full-size iPad, meaning “the iPad mini’s 7.9-inch display would need to pack in the same 3.1 million pixels into a panel nearly two inches smaller in diameter,” AppleInsider said.