updated 02:45 pm EDT, Wed May 4, 2011
Rumor claims iPad 3 to support 3D video
An unconventional rumor claimed that Apple was focusing the third-generation iPad on 3D. A woman billed as a movie industry insider claimed to RCR that it was a "dead cert" and that studios were supposedly preparing 3D movies and other content for iTunes. Multiple sources from Foxconn were supposedly corroborating leaks of early production plans.
The details of how it would work weren't given. Recording 3D is relatively straightforward as it requires two cameras to produce the stereoscopic effect. Tablets like the LG Optimus Pad can already produce it. Displaying 3D is much more difficult, however, and tablets like the Optimus Pad have to include glasses because of the costs and performance needed for larger glasses-free screens. Phones like the HTC Evo 3D and LG Optimus 3D can show glasses-free 3D only because of their size.
The rumor is uncorroborated by other sources and would fly against Apple's own typical conservatism relating to video. It remains one of the few computer builders to pass on Blu-ray, owing to the complication of getting it implemented, and so far hasn't included 3D video either in its devices or in its pro video creation tools. Apple usually only adopts technology if it believes the technology can be kept simple and would very likely reject any plan requiring glasses, just as it rejected the need for pen input on the iPhone.
Customer acceptance may also be a major problem. Nielsen in a study late last year showed 59 percent of Americans actively avoiding 3D, not just skipping past it. Modern 3D, even with glasses-free 3D like the Nintendo 3DS, both carries a noticeable price premium and often induces eyestrain. Some can't see the effect at all.