Apple 2.0

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Quote of the day: 'Apple can't afford to wait on a Retina iPad mini'

July 14, 2013: 7:28 AM ET

So says the Motley Fool, apparently unaware of the current state of the tablet market.

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FORTUNE -- Stop me if you've seen this chart before, originally published under the headline Apple's iPad and the 13 dwarfs, but I couldn't resist posting it again.

Blame it on Evan Niu.

He wrote a piece in the Motley Fool Saturday based on rumors that Apple (AAPL), which has never acknowledged the existence of a higher-res "Retina" version of the iPad mini, may be "forced to delay" its launch until next year.

"Apple can't afford to wait that long," Niu writes.

"The smaller version's biggest weakness is easily the lackluster display. At 1024 x 768, the display already lagged rival devices from Amazon.com and Google, both of which used 1280 x 800 panels in their smaller 7-inch tablets from 2012. Apple can fend off rivals on other competitive strengths, like a wider tablet-optimized app ecosystem or sturdier build quality -- but only for so long."

Perhaps. I'd never before heard an iPad mini owner describe its display as "lackluster."

But based on the relative sizes of the iPad, Amazon (AMZN) Kindle and Google (GOOG) Nexus bars in the tablet usage chart above, Apple may have a little more breathing room than Niu implies.

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About This Author
Philip Elmer-Dewitt
Philip Elmer-DeWitt
Editor, Apple 2.0, Fortune

Philip Elmer-DeWitt has been following Apple since 1982, first for Time Magazine, and now on the Web for Fortune.com.

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