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."
Why can't HP, Dell, Sony or Samsung compete with the iPad and MacBook Air?
The old conventional wisdom was that any advantage Apple (AAPL) gained in the marketplace was necessarily short-lived. Competitors licensing widely available operating systems -- from Microsoft (MSFT) or Google (GOOG) -- would soon undercut Apple's premium pricing and steal its market share. Case in point: The army of Android phones that now commands roughly 50% of the MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - Aug 14, 2011 9:59 AM ET
In Japan, its profits grew 1,156% between 2005 and 2010. Europe's were up 1,518%
"Apple's international sales are simply on fire"
So wrote the Motley Fool's Erik Bleeker Monday in a piece assessing Apple's (AAPL) overseas demand.
It is, as he puts it, exploding.
This will come as no surprise to anyone who has been following COO Tim Cook's Q&As with analysts, where he's been highlighting Apple's growth in the Japanese and Asia Pacific MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - Jun 28, 2011 7:38 AM ET
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