Those that hoped and prayed for some Retina Display-type action on the iPad 2 may take solace in this; word is that production of 2048×1536 QXGA panels has started production and that they’re headed for the next Apple tablet.
The information comes from Richard Shim, an analyst at DisplaySearch who told CNET that there are three suppliers of the displays, in order to meet demand and that “we could start seeing finished devices produced in December. And then being ready to be shipped in January. With volumes gearing up in February and March.”
We’ve heard that Samsung and LG were struggling to make high resolution displays in sufficient volume for sales. The screen apparently won’t be an AMOLED-type as often seen in Samsung’s products but will feature IPS (In Plane Switching) as seen in the iPhone 4 and iPhone 4S. And even if these screens do get cranked out in time for January-March, they won’t be truly Retina-tastic either.
Ars Technica has done the sums and notes that the ppi of a 9.7-inch 2048×1536 screen weighs in at 264; a big jump up from the 132 ppi of the iPad 2’s screen but still below the 300 ppi plus that Apple defines as being truly Retina.
Also, Shim said that there could also be a mini-iPad (iPad nano?) with in the pipeline. “If there’s demand there. There’s no reason they wouldn’t build a 7.85-inch iPad,” Shim said. This could be a move to see off the threat posed by Amazon’s Kindle Fire and other smaller (cheaper) Android slates. Previously, we’d also heard of references to ‘iPad 3.1’ and ‘iPad 3.2’ in leaked iOS 5 firmware.
Then again, there’s been rumours of iPhone nanos in production since the first iPhone. There was also word that two iPhones would be launched this year and, well, look what happened there.
Still, there’s a couple of meaty rumours for you; a slightly sub-Retina Display panel for the iPad 3 coming in March 2012, possible followed up by a 7.85-inch iPhablet.