updated 12:30 pm EST, Sat February 19, 2011
Analyst says iPad 3 due for Retina Display
The third-generation iPad will be the one to get the rumored 2048x1536 display, Concord Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo claimed on Saturday. The often historically accurate researcher understood from checks that the doubled resolution, fringed-field switching display was both too expensive and not yielding enough to be viable for the current model. He instead told AppleInsider that he understood Apple would use a thinner display with the current resolution but a less reflective surface that renders it better for outdoor reading.
The claim may be borne out by technological developments. While dual-core processors and matching graphics are enough to support 1080p (1920x1080) video smoothly, greater-than-HD resolutions so far haven't been shown in mobile. NVIDIA's Kal-El is one of the first conspicuous examples of a mobile processor and graphics combination that can handle more and combines both a quad-core main chip with 12-core video. Other companies are expected to have quad-core processors and at least quad-core graphics at the same time and could see Apple make such a leap to handle a larger screen.
Kuo also supported claims of a possible mid-size iOS device. While he wouldn't be drawn into confirming it as a six-inch device, he was told a slate was "undergoing evaluation" for a possible launch in the second half of the year. He wasn't certain whether it would be cast as a miniature iPad or an upsized iPod touch. Speculation is now that Apple might simply use it as a larger iPod and sidestep a level of self-contradiction after having attacked seven-inch tablets.
Both devices are very much unconfirmed and, even if real, might not necessarily ship as described or at all. Apple is known to develop hardware either for pure experimentation or to cancel a device fully intended for production if it's no longer believed to be practical, even just weeks before it would have been made public. The company is regardless under pressure to at least keep up with and possibly shut out competitors, many of which are stepping up their plans for tablets and for new, crossover media players like the Galaxy Wi-Fi 5.0.