Apple will release an iPad 3 with a retina display running at 2048×1536 resolution next year, and the production of the IPS QXGA display is already underway by Samsung, Sharp, and LGD, according to a new report. Citing a confident analyst from DisplaySearch, CNET quotes “It’s happening–QXGA, 2048×1536. Panel production has started“.
Talk of an iPad 3 with a retina display isn’t anything new, theoretical discussion of such hardware started before the iPad 2 was even announced in 2011, with various pieces of evidence and conjecture surfacing early on.
Current iPad 3 rumors indicate the following possibilities:
- Retina Display – persistent rumors and reports suggest a high resolution display is all but guaranteed
- Quad Core CPU – references to a quad-core ARM CPU were found and quickly removed from Xcode earlier in the year, igniting speculation that a quad core chip could make it to the next generation of iOS hardware
- Siri – the hit AI assistant agent from iPhone 4S is likely to make it to other Apple hardware in the future, perhaps starting with iPad 3
- Dual Mode CDMA/GSM Support – it’s very likely the next iPad will include the same dual mode GSM and CDMA chip from the iPhone 4S, allowing Apple to produce a single 3G equipped iPad rather than separate CDMA and GSM devices
- Release Date – presumably the iPad 3 release will follow past iPad footsteps, with a release sometime around March or April of 2012
There are also some rumors suggesting the iPad 2 may stick around as a lower cost model, with the iPad 3 becoming a “Pro” addition that would turn the iPad into more of a product family. Apple offering a lower cost iPad may very well depend on the success of competing lower priced tablets, which thus far have struggled to gain traction in the marketplace.
iPad Mini with a 7.85″ Display to Debut Later in 2012?
Later in the aforementioned CNET report is a reference to an “mini iPad” that would include a 7.85″ display. Such a device would supposedly come in the second half of 2012, but only if there’s adequate market interest:
“If there’s demand there. There’s no reason they wouldn’t build a 7.85-inch iPad,” Shim said.
Demand for smaller screened tablets may end up depending on the success of the low priced Amazon Kindle Fire. A recent report indicated that Apple’s iPad maintains a dominating lead in tablet market share, but suggested the newly released Kindle Fire will place direct pressure on the iPad. Amazon’s tablet could be a motivating factor for Apple to be exploring an iPad with a smaller display.
While rumors are fascinating to ponder, it’s wise to take all Apple rumors with a grain of salt, especially considering how incredibly inaccurate and imaginative the iPhone 5 speculation ended up being. In other words, don’t believe it until it’s announced by Apple.