Sources say Apple's supply chain is just beginning to gear up to make displays for the tablet, and that Apple delayed certifying display manufacturers; LG Display (LPL), Samsung Display, and Sharp (SHCAY.PK) reportedly competed to supply panels.
Bloomberg previously reported a retina Mini and 5th-gen iPad would arrive this year, and the WSJ reported "mass production" of a retina Mini would start in Q4. Reuters' report comes as Amazon rolls out new Kindle Fires with high-res displays, and a couple months after Google rolled out a second-gen Nexus 7 with a high-res display to good reviews.
Separately, Apple has hired Jean-Francois Mule, once an SVP for cable TV R&D consortium CableLabs, to be an engineering director. That's boosting speculation the company is working on set-tops that provide direct access to pay-TV content.