updated 10:35 pm EDT, Mon April 11, 2011
Suppliers say iPad 3 not in cards for 2011
Component builders said late Monday that talk of an iPad 3 in the fall was wrong based on Apple's early plans. The company has reportedly provided a handful of details calling for a higher resolution display, but the details were at the "initial planning stage" and unlikely to show up at all in 2011. They told Digitimes they hadn't received any received any notices for production and had been seeing "strong" orders for the iPad 2 that cast doubt on a launch so soon.
The talk of an early revamp was likely just "wishful thinking and misreporting," they said.
What would be involved in the display wasn't mentioned. The tipsters floated the possibility of an AMOLED display, but they noted that it wouldn't be in Apple's interest to go with the technology. Samsung controls AMOLED production almost exclusively and could potentially wield this against Apple by holding back on supplies or raising prices beyond what was necessary. Current iPads use LCDs made by LG Display, Samsung, and possibly other firms, reducing the possible points of failure. AMOLED is also expensive at large sizes and could be too costly for Apple's goals.
A 2012 release would be more consistent with Apple's roughly year-long intervals between iOS device upgrades as well as a need to wait for the ideal technology. Rumors persist of a 2048x1536 panel, but this would need both cheaper displays as well as enough processor and graphics performance to drive the new resolution. Most of the industry, including Apple, should be going to quad-core processors and graphics at the high end in early 2012.