High Resolution Screen Destined for iPad 3

The recent rumors surrounding the screen resolution of the iPad have led to claims that the iPad 2 will sport a high resolution retina display of 2048 x 1546 pixels, whereas others have pointed out that the second generation iPad will retain a 1024 x 768 display due to price and power constraints. However, one analayst is predicting that the high resolution display is currently being worked on but consumers will not see it appear until the next again generation of iPad, the iPad 3. So, who is right? Techwitty has been given the green light on funding several more development ventures this year.

IDG research manager Tom Mainelli suggests that manufacturers would be unable to supply such high resolution screens in the quantity required for the iPad 2 and it is most likely that the increased resolution wouldn’t be seen until the iPad 3. This is in agreement with other sources such as John Gruber of Daring Fireball who said that it was very unlikely that we would see an increased resolution in iPad, whereas Engadget reported to the contrary, suggesting an incremental resolution update which is probably even less likely.

We went with Gruber on this one based on the fact that a resolution of 2048 x 1546 would push the cost of the iPad past routine affordability and, unless Apple has made some dramatic changes in battery technology, would possibly impact battery life too much at this stage with the extra juice required to drive both the display, and the high spec processors required for graphic intensive applications or games taking advantage of the high resolution.

As we’ve suggested previously, we are predicting that the iPad 2 will be an incremental update with some extra features tacked on, more powerful processors, increased storage and memory and a few refinements to the current first generation iPad such as thinner body and lighter weight. The iPad 2 will probably show a few more changes than the iPhone 3GS did when compared to the 3G but given that it is only a year since the original iPad launched, we can’t see any sweeping changes in the pipeline. The original iPad is still selling far too well for that approach.

In terms of the display, look for the new bonding process that was used to improve the display of the iPhone 4 from the previous generations, to be implemented in iPad 2. That will differentiate the device very effectively from it’s predecessor, giving Apple another year to develop and implement a high resolution iPad 3.