Everybody loves the current iPad mini with one major caveat — where’s the Retina display? Apple is thought to be readying an iPad mini Retina, but there is once again a caveat.

Apple CEO Tim Cook is a smart guy, a really smart guy. Yet, he readily admitted Apple should have held the last year’s iMac update — thin and sharp enough to cut aged cheddar — until early 2013 due to supply chain and manufacturing issues.

Cook bet Apple could pull it off yet ended up with egg on his face, forced to admit his mistake.

Now, Apple’s Asian supply chain partners are indicating that the full-size iPad 5, which will have mini-inspired thin bezels, will ship in time for Christmas. However, if Apple does in fact choose to bring a Retina display equipped iPad mini to market, it likely won’t arrive until late in Q4.

As for the new 7.9-inch iPad mini, the sources pointed out that Apple is still considering whether to adopt a Retina Display for the device, and if the company decides to do so, the product’s release may be delayed to the end of the fourth quarter.

There is no question that the iPad mini Retina is the right product. However, Apple can’t afford another stumbling product rollout a la the 2012 2013-ish iMac…

What’s your take?