iPad 3 to have 2048×1536 “Retina” display, supplied by Sharp

Daniel Bader

November 29, 2011 11:14 am

It’s pretty mucha given that the iPad 3, when it eventually debuts, will have a double-resolution “Retina” display. Manufacturers such as Sharp and Samsung are set to provide Apple with the manufacturing process to get such a high-resolution display fabricated, optimized, and ultimately utilized in the kinds of volumes that Apple expects.

Indeed, with the number of iPad 2′s sold exceeding 25 million worldwide, nothing short of such a high-res display would meet the skyward expectations of the Apple faithful. The problem, at this point, is yield: according to some analysts, right now 9.7″ 2048×1536 pixel displays should have around a 50% success rate. For every one display that is perfect, there is another with a dead pixel, backlight bleeding or colour issues.

There is an expectation around the industry that the yields should improve by early next year, with shipments of finished devices expected in February and March. This would hune with Apple’s current iPad cycle, as the first was released in April 2010, and the iPad 2 in March 2011.

If, for whatever reason, the iPad 3 can’t manage such a huge display spec increase — despite its 264dpi pixel density, it is extremely difficult to manufacture such displays with the current fabrication methods — will there be a reason for people to upgrade? Sure, they could increase chip speed, RAM size, camera quality. They could make it thinner still. But that means little to someone who has been staring at the same underwhelming 1024×768 display for two years now.

We wait with anticipation.

Source: Ars Technica

  • Gab

    264 PPI? What the f**k is the definition of retina then? Is it atleast IPS?

    • bob

      You known, there is no perceptible difference between a 299 PPI and a 301 PPI display. There is nothing magical that happens when you cross the 300 PPI barrier. The “retina” marketing term is just a gimmick.

  • markonparade

    *cough* Android :)

  • Sean

    Hmm this will be interesting
    “It’s not a real retina display for that it needs over 300 ppi”
    “But apple says it is a retina display…”

  • Rick Lowes

    They don’t have to go up to this high a resolution – honestly it’s overkill. I’d rather then just go ever 50% better resolution than they have now and then lower the price of the thing and make it lighter to hold in one hand (it’s pretty thin already).

    • daveloft

      It’s much easier for developers when they quadruple the resolution. It’s the same upgrade they did when they went from the 3GS to the iPhone 4.

  • drizzo613

    they’re gonna flop, i’m calling it now. and by flop, i don’t mean in terms of sales (way too many diHard apple fans)

  • bob

    I don’t understand why they would put a so high resolution display in their tablet but keep their macbook computers with a low resolution

  • Jake

    Can current apps support that resolution? Are there going to be lots of “2x” or “4x” buttons in apps?

    • bob

      That’s the whole point of doubling the resolution (multiplying by 4 the number of pixels). Old apps will just be scaled. What took 1 pixel will now take 4. This is easy to do automatically, no need for a button.

    • dav1dz

      All apps need to do to support the higher resolution is to ship with higher resolution images. When iPhone 4 shipped, all the apps were updated almost immediately.

      FYI: iPhone 4 is 4x resolution of iPhone 3GS, similar to what is about to happen to iPad 3.

  • TeknoBug

    Marketing strategy to get longer lineups on release day, not even the MacBooks has res that high!

    MMMM little sense, this makes.

  • Mr marquis

    Why is it that apple is always the first to be innovative, sony and samsung make tablets they could have done this first, instead of playing catch up.

    • Terry

      Wow, Apple marketing IS effective. LOL

      If you really think Apple is innovating, at least in the past 4 years, then you’re just one of the chumps who fell for the Apple hype.

      I’m not saying Apple products are bad, they aren’t, it’s just they are hardly innovative.
      A ridiculous resolution is not innovative, especially when most people won’t even notice the difference between the Ipad 2 and Ipad 3 resolutions.

      If they want to innovate, maybe do something with their OS to make is different, instead of it being the same OS for over 4 year OTHER then copying features that Android has, and making them worse.

    • Mike

      Terry, they revolutionized the mobile phone industry. Not innovative? Get your head out of your a*s.

  • Nick

    I don’t get it. No-one is complaining that the current iPad has low resolution, and pushing 4X as many pixels is an unnecessary drag on performance and battery. I barely noticed any difference when moving to a Retina display with the 4S…

    • bob

      At 1024×768 the iPad resolution is a bit low, but not unacceptable given the small display size. Most competing Android tablets are at 1280×800 which is a bit better.
      But even the $2500 MacBook Pro only has a 1920×1200 display. How they want to put an even higher resolution display in a 10″ tablet? Not sure it’s worth it. Many web sites will look like crap on such a high resolution anyway. Starting with mobilesyrup.com

  • Paul Q

    Shad ap with that retina bullshit. If they pull this off with Good battery life I will too.

  • Rio

    I agree Mr.Marquis

    I am personally a Apple fan, but why is it apple that is gonna be the first to have this?

  • Saffant

    Good stuff. interested in checking this out.

  • EmperumanV

    I don’t understand this one thing, if companies like Samsung manufacture or provide parts for Apple, then why does Apple go awall on Samsung and sue them for everything out there?

    I think if Samsung stops providing parts for any Apple product, then Apple is kind of screwed no?

    • Brad F

      “I think if Samsung stops providing parts for any Apple product, then Apple is kind of screwed no?”

      If Samsung stops providing parts to Apple they’ll lose millions of dollars in revenue and millions more in fines for violating their multi-year contracts with Apple.

  • seant

    The scaling issues discussed earlier have explained to me why 1080p is not a logical resolution to increase to. Now I wonder how much 2048 x 1536 will increase the cost of the ipad3. I guess their margin will have to take a hit or corners will have to be cut to sell many ipad3′s after previous versions have sold so well. The ipad market has to saturate before too long

  • Devon D.

    Even I have to say I’m not too sure about the trade off of a (somewhat) good battery life for higher resolution.

  • EC

    about time, 1024×768 was a joke, now all those apple fanboys can shutup about low resolution being ok (they will defend anything apple at any cost)

  • Mike

    How do you guys not understand why the resolution would be so damn high? Unlike Android tablet makers, Apple doesn’t like fragmentation, so if they were to double the resolution of the current ipad, just like they did with the iphone, apps would be very easily scaled, therefore not causing any fragmentation where you’d need to make different apps for different resolutions, and so on.

    • daveloft

      Double? No, go back and do the math again, it’s quadruple.

      2 width x 2 height = 4 times the resolution.

  • Astralmind

    funny… up until now people defended the iPad2′s resolution by saying it was plenty for a device this size…. and up to certain point I almost agree (sweet spot is 1280×800 to me).

    Watch the reaction when the iPad3 comes out with an insane resolution: It will be the biggest deal ever and those same people who claimed the iPad2 wasn’t lacking will claim that the iPad3 is trampling the competition, revolution… bleh

    Not only that, as it’s been pointed out, besides the ridiculous price tag and barely noticeable improvement, the major issue will be performance/battery issues! 2x the resolution at that level kills cpu/gpu

  • Mike

    I’m pretty sure I read an article that stated that these will be special lower power consuming displays. I don’t think there will be a significant hit on battery life. Price will probably be the same for less margins for Apple.

    People will always complain though.

  • iPad Owner

    1. NEVER BUY 1ST GEN APPLE MODEL. All you iPad 1 owners, you should have known.
    2. Yeah, resolution on the iPads is pretty good, and while it would be nice to get a higher res screen; lets admit it, most people (80% at least) won’t upgrade from an iPad 1/2 to a 3 for higher resolution.
    3. I bought an iPad for the apps. Because, truthfully, I have a hard time finding anything in the android market that can rival the number of apps designed for iOS.
    4. Profit!

  • Timmy

    2nd-last paragraph: “This would hune with Apple’s current iPad cycle…”

    “hune”? Maybe “hew to” (conform to, adhere closely to)?

  • Perpugilliam Brown

    This is not 300dpi. This is not retina. Fail.

  • Netguru

    Apple has been making a big push to get into various business segments…including medical apps. I believe that a resolution of 2048 x 1536 would allow doctors to walk around a hopital with their iPads and call up wirelessly CT scans, MRIs and digitized x-rays.

  • Brad F

    “But that means little to someone who has been staring at the same underwhelming 1024×768 display for two years now.”

    Talk about showing bias, MobileSyrup. The display may *now* be underwhelming, since it’s been 2 years since the original iPad, but it hasn’t exactly been ‘underwhelming’ since day 1.

    For those talking about how a 2048×1536 display isn’t considered a “retina display”, the iPhone is considered a “retina display” at the average holding distance of about 12 inches if you have 20/20 vision or worse. The iPad display is usually used at a distance of *at least* 18 inches so the pixel density doesn’t have to be as high for it to be considered a “retina display”.

  • Peter

    I do a lot of reading on my iPad 2. I’m attached to it at the hip. And the resolution on it is so noticeably worse than the iPhone 4. Sure I simply love my iPad 2 but I will be eagerly awaiting this update!
    And guess what Mobilesyrup readers/Fandroids…I will be lining up!!!!!!!!!!!!!! BRIGHT AND EARLY suckers!!!!!!!!

  • Pahech

    This retina branding is ridiculous.

  • Jim

    People who already mention that Apple’s Marketing is very very excellent (I Agree). I’m an Capitalist who believes about making money but very wise on how the i****s of society today buys this overpriced BS from Apple. Like people eat up this garbage that buying the iPhone is part of one’s soul or an attachment of being. Like come on people wake up and buy something that’s worth the price and not the Brand!!!

  • Cody

    My mac is only 1,680 X 1,050….. I don’t see why that’s necessary in a tablet.

  • Atsen

    True, i mean seriously? I don’t even go above 1920×1080 on my gaming computer, so i can’t really see the need for such high resolutions on a tablet?

    Maybe this helps movies, pictures and games look better, but for the rest of the non-resolution-centric apps that revolve around socialising, productivity, VoIP, music, simple-gaming, etc. this is a waste of time.

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