updated 10:55 am EST, Tue November 29, 2011
DisplaySearch expects tablet rush to sharpen LCDs
The iPad 3 display should help kick off a dramatic improvement in the quality of tablet displays early next year, DisplaySearch said. Based on its own shipment forecast data, it expected the typical pixels per inch (PPI) of a tablet to jump from 147 at the end of 2011 to 191 in early 2012. It understood that two tablet screens shipping in the fall would be instrumental to the spike, including a 1920x1200 10-inch display showing in the Iconia Tab A700 and the 9.7-inch, 2048x1536 screen that could only be destined for Apple's new tablet.
More companies are expected to come onboard slightly later and push the PPI to 203 during the spring, researchers said. By the summer, that number would grow to 212. Samsung is known to be a part of these plans, as it intends to launch a 2560x1600 tablet display that will likely be part of the next Galaxy Tab 10.1.
There were "extraordinary changes" going on in tablet displays specifically, DisplaySearch's China area VP David Hsieh said, including not just the resolutions but the LED backlights needed to drive them.
It's unclear if DisplaySearch has inside access given its existing supply connections, although multiple tips from separate sources have had the iPad 3 screen in production as of this month in anticipation of a launch sometime early next year.
Regular displays, by comparison, would be mostly idle, the analyst team said. Desktop and notebook displays were expected to stay virtually unchanged at 93PPI on the desktop and 111PPI on portables. TVs would actually go down slightly as sizes got bigger, going down to just 55PPI by next summer.
The increasing quality of tablet displays is being driven both by their moderate size, which makes high resolutions practical, as well as their viewing distance. Devices like the iPad are increasingly used for magazines or web reading, and a higher display density more closely replicates the print experience while also helping photos and creative apps.