The new high-res display, slim design and soft-touch back on Google’s new Nexus 7 certainly turned heads, but it looks like the slate could go head-to-head with a new offering from Apple in the coming months. According to The Wall Street Journal’s sources, the Cupertino, Calif.-based company will launch a second-gen iPad Mini with Retina Display later this year.

Apple’s suppliers are reportedly preparing to release a new miniature iPad in Q4 2013, and the company is sourcing materials from the likes of LG, Sharp and Samsung. The back covers for the next iPad Mini may also come in a colorful array of choices, unlike the current generation slate which is only available in black and white. This echoes the rumors surrounding Apple’s much-speculated low-cost iPhone that indicate it will launch with a slew of shades to choose from. [Top 10 Tablets]

The Journal does warn that Apple tends to change its mind before products make it to the market, so there’s no telling whether or not we’ll see multicolor iPads this holiday season. Meanwhile, reports have suggested that Apple will also launch a new iPad Mini without a Retina Display at the same time. Less than a day before the Wall Street Journal published its report, an anonymous developer sent 9to5Mac references from the iOS 7 SDK that suggest an iPad Mini without Retina Display is in the works.

The website reports that three iPad Mini models could be in Apple’s pipeline, which may include one Wi-Fi only model and two cellular additions. What’s more, the purported iPad Mini successors are expected to launch with Apple’s A6 chip—the same processor found in the iPhone 5.

Despite which rumors hold true, we’re expecting Apple to introduce a strong competitor to the smaller-sized tablet market following the release of Google’s improved Nexus 7, which received high marks for its sleek form factor and sharp 1920 x 1200 resolution display.

via The Wall Street Journal, 9to5Mac

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