Apple nears trial production of high-res iPad 3 coming in early 2012

Posted:
in iPad edited January 2014
Apple is aligning with its far eastern component suppliers and manufacturers for a trial production of a high-resolution, third-generation iPad ahead of a planned launch in 2012, as the electronic maker looks to continue to outpace would-be rivals in the high-stakes tablet space, according to the Wall Street Journal.



Citing people familiar with the matter, the financial paper said the Cupertino-based company has already begun receiving "chips" and 9.7-inch, high-resolution displays that feature a resolution of 2048 by1536 for a trial production of 1.5 million iPad 3s set to begin in October.



"Suppliers will ramp up production and try to improve the yield rate for the new iPad in the fourth quarter before its official launch in early 2012," one of the people familiar with the matter said.



While the Journal provided no further details, its findings are consistent with those of Concord Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, who similarly told AppleInsider last month that his industry checks turned up strong evidence of a new iPad hitting the manufacturing lines sometime in the fourth quarter of 2011. He warned, however, that it was unclear when Apple planned to introduce it to market.



Kuo as early as February reported that Apple's iPad 3 would incorporate a 9.7 inch IPS panel with FFS (fringe-field switching) technology, which enables a wider viewing angle and clearer visual quality in direct sunlight.



According to the analyst, Apple originally hoped to include the so-called iPad Retina Display in the iPad 2 but aborted the plan due to limited manufacturing yield rates. "At this point," Kuo said in January, "making a high resolution and bright IPS/FFS panel is not easy and the production volume and cost couldn’t meet Apple’s requirements."







With the debut of a 2048x1536 resolution iPad, Apple's tablet devices will sport a resolution higher than the company's largest 17 inch MacBook Pro and in the ballpark of its 27 inch, 2560x1440 LED Cinema Display, which the company promotes as "supersized" and "huge," with an "astonishing" resolution.



Having created a user interface that works well on a 9.7 inch display from the tablet's inception, Apple freed itself to dramatically boost the iPad's resolution independently of its screen size in order to deliver a very realistic depiction of photos, ebooks, documents, videos, and dynamic content that users navigate via touch while holding the display at distance where pixel density is readily noticeable.



The high-density displays will present existing iPad apps (ranging from Netfllix to NPR) at full fidelity while allowing optimized apps to draw images, text and other content with razor sharp detail at a pixel density where individual dots begin to vanish from view, exactly like iPhone 4.



And because Apple has designed the iPad user interface from the ground up to be resolution independent, doubling the resolution doesn't have the same drawbacks involved with boosting pixel density on desktop or notebook systems. With a resolution nearing the retina's detail threshold, iPad 3 can deliver a user interface capable of exceptional quality, without demanding higher quality video sources than currently exist.



At the same time, photographers and anyone else who deals with detailed images, ranging from X-rays and MRI images to detailed PDF renderings and 3D architectural models, will benefit from the resolution boost because it will simply be there to use. Even users with basic needs for iWork productivity apps, browsing the web, and playing puzzle games will benefit from razor sharp rendering of text (that iOS is capable of doing automatically) and enhancements third party developers make to their custom graphic assets (which are easy to add to existing apps).







The resolution independent design of iOS will also allow Apple to potentially sell both a new iPad 3 with a very high resolution alongside existing iPad 2s at a low price tier if it so chooses, without causing fragmentation issues for developers or users. The same apps can run seamlessly on both, supplying normal or double resolution graphic assets as needed to take full advantage of the new screens while still working normally on existing models.



(For more on the prospect of an iPad with a Retina-quality display, please see AppleInsider's report on Why high resolution screens matter for Apple's iPad.)



Ahead of October's trial production of the iPad 3, Apple earlier this month begun trial production of its proprietary A6 mobile processor that's expected to power the iPad 3 and, eventually, the iPhone 6. A report from the Taiwan Economic News earlier this month singled out Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. as the new manufacturer of the chip, reportedly snagging a role formally filled by Samsung.



The ARM-based A6 is said to incorporate TSMC's 28-nanometer process and 3D stacking technology. The chipmaker's "silicon interposer" and "bump on trace" methods are also said to be utilized in the next-generation chip, which is scheduled to be finalized in the first quarter of 2012.



According to that report, the chip is destined to be unveiled in the iPad 3 no earlier than the second quarter of 2012, suggesting that device could arrive roughly one year after the launch of the iPad 2.
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Comments

  • asciiascii Posts: 5,363member
    I skipped the iPad 2 so will be looking at getting the 3. I suspect it will be more expensive though, with such a screen. But an impressive device and probably irresistible.
  • solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by ascii View Post


    I skipped the iPad 2 so will be looking at getting the 3. I suspect it will be more expensive though, with such a screen. But an impressive device and probably irresistible.



    The iPhone 4 display, which still hasn't been matched by competitors, seemed like it would be too pricey at current price points. Apple's scale and investments in the tech could make it feasible for the iPad 3. That could even mean losing some profit on the device to secure the tablet market for the foreseeable future.
  • davemcm76davemcm76 Posts: 263member
    Early 2012 is a good few months away yet - how many more of the "competition" will have got bored of not selling anything and pulled out of the tablet market by then?
  • solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by DaveMcM76 View Post


    Early 2012 is a good few months away yet - how many more of the "competition" will have got bored of not selling anything and pulled out of the tablet market by then?



    It's certainly not looking like Apple has to release the next iPad with a 2048x1536 resolution display, but it's Game, Set, Match if they do.
  • tbelltbell Posts: 3,146member
    Blasphemy. Losing profit? Apple has a big fancy new spaceship to built. It needs the profit. If Apple can't get the product out for the same price while making about the same profit, it will take the same approach it always has taken. Namely, offer that product as the top of the line model for a higher price, while offering the other models at a lower price point. Eventually the manufacturing process will be perfected and the cost will come down.



    Now if Apple was actually feeling pressure from the other tablet makers, then maybe there would be a reason to take a hit of profits. Nothing I can see out there suggests that though.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by solipsism View Post


    The iPhone 4 display, which still hasn't been matched by competitors,

    seemed like it would be too pricey at current price points. Apple's scale and investments in the tech could make it feasible for the iPad 3. That could even mean losing some profit on the device to secure the tablet market for the foreseeable future.



  • rhyderhyde Posts: 294member
    "And because Apple has designed the iPad user interface from the ground up to be resolution independent, doubling the resolution doesn't have the same drawbacks involved with boosting pixel density on desktop or notebook systems."



    This is a stupid statement. The interface is not resolution independent, otherwise they could make the display *any* size they want and things would work fine. They have to double the pixel count in both directions to make it easy to scale bitmaps w/o having them look funny.
  • solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by TBell View Post


    Blasphemy. Losing profit? Apple has a big fancy new spaceship to built. It needs the profit. If Apple can't get the product out for the same price while making about the same profit, it will take the same approach it always has taken. Namely, offer that product as the top of the line model for a higher price, while offering the other models at a lower price point. Eventually the manufacturing process will be perfected and the cost will come down.



    Now if Apple was actually feeling pressure from the other tablet makers, then maybe there would be a reason to take a hit of profits. Nothing I can see out there suggests that though.



    I misspoke. I mean taking a slightly lower profit margin in the short term in order to secure greater profits in the long term.



    It's not an issue that the competition will overtake the iPad at all. There is no evidence of that; but if they can get a Retina Display on the iPad 3 when the competition wouldn't be able to begin to compete with such tech for several years they will have created another natural monopoly vis-Ã*-vis the iPod. I'd say that's worth losing a couple percent in gross profit for the first couple quarters of the iPad 3 launch.
  • elmcitywebelmcityweb Posts: 109member
    Retina display or not, iPad 3 is going to shine like a diamond in the rough.
  • tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 40,860member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by ascii View Post


    I suspect it will be more expensive though, with such a screen.



    Apple will never do that.
  • muppetrymuppetry Posts: 3,281member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by rhyde View Post


    "And because Apple has designed the iPad user interface from the ground up to be resolution independent, doubling the resolution doesn't have the same drawbacks involved with boosting pixel density on desktop or notebook systems."



    This is a stupid statement. The interface is not resolution independent, otherwise they could make the display *any* size they want and things would work fine. They have to double the pixel count in both directions to make it easy to scale bitmaps w/o having them look funny.



    The numbers quoted in the article are double the current pixel count in both directions. Are you just questioning the "resolution independent" comment?
  • applelover2applelover2 Posts: 293member
    Brilliant!



    (Pun fully intended)
  • quiethunterquiethunter Posts: 1member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by muppetry View Post


    The numbers quoted in the article are double the current pixel count in both directions. Are you just questioning the "resolution independent comment"?



    I must say that in the article the aspect ratio is wrong. The actual pixel for width and height is 1024*768, if it is the double (this make all sense) the resolution of iPAD3 would be 2048*1536, not 2048*1046 (like the post on the article)...



    I hope that Apple could bring us a beautiful resolution like the iPhone4.
  • muppetrymuppetry Posts: 3,281member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Quiethunter View Post


    I must say that in the article the aspect ratio is wrong. The actual pixel for width and height is 1024*768, if it is the double (this make all sense) the resolution of iPAD3 would be 2048*1536, not 2048*1046 (like the post on the article)...



    I hope that Apple could bring us a beautiful resolution like the iPhone4.



    I'm confused - the article does say 2048 x 1536, except in the table where it says 1546 (presumably one of those rare AI typos).
  • asciiascii Posts: 5,363member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by solipsism View Post


    The iPhone 4 display, which still hasn't been matched by competitors, seemed like it would be too pricey at current price points. Apple's scale and investments in the tech could make it feasible for the iPad 3. That could even mean losing some profit on the device to secure the tablet market for the foreseeable future.



    Well if they can keep it the same price, that would be great. Great for their market-share and great for me as a purchaser. But these screens are so new, there are still yield issues. I suspect there will be a small rise at least, say $50? Let's wait and see...



    On a related note, I just love how Apple are pushing technology forward so aggressively. It is a refreshing change from the stagnation of the Microsoft dominated era. And it makes market sense too, because competitors are forced to rush things, causing them to make mistakes.
  • solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by muppetry View Post


    I'm confused - the article does say 2048 x 1536, except in the table where it says 1546 (presumably one of those rare AI typos).



    Just a typo. AI has an odd habit of writing in-depth articles but creating low-rent graphs filled with typos they don't readily fix. I don't get it. I wish AI would devote some time to creating quality infographs to complement their other content.





    Quote:
    Originally Posted by ascii View Post


    Well if they can keep it the same price, that would be great. Great for their market-share and great for me as a purchaser. But these screens are so new, there are still yield issues. I suspect there will be a small rise at least, say $50? Let's wait and see...



    On a related note, I just love how Apple are pushing technology forward so aggressively. It is a refreshing change from the stagnation of the Microsoft dominated era. And it makes market sense too, because competitors are forced to rush things, causing them to make mistakes.



    I think they'll have to go with an A6 with a much upgraded GPU, at least, for that resolution display but they may be able to save money by keeping the current 16, 32 and 64GB capacities at the same price points for another year but use denser NAND. That alone could offset the costs even though I'd love to see 128GB in the next model but that's because I'm finally using the crap out of my iPad 2 and wish I didn't get the 16GB model.
  • muppetrymuppetry Posts: 3,281member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by solipsism View Post


    Just a typo. AI has an odd habit of writing in-depth articles but creating low-rent graphs filled with typos they don't readily fix. I don't get it. I wish AI would devote some time to creating quality infographs to complement their other content.



    Agreed - but I couldn't see where the other poster was reading 2048 x 1046.
  • wizard69wizard69 Posts: 11,836member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by rhyde View Post


    "And because Apple has designed the iPad user interface from the ground up to be resolution independent, doubling the resolution doesn't have the same drawbacks involved with boosting pixel density on desktop or notebook systems."



    This is a stupid statement. The interface is not resolution independent, otherwise they could make the display *any* size they want and things would work fine. They have to double the pixel count in both directions to make it easy to scale bitmaps w/o having them look funny.



    By definition bitmaps are not resolution independent, they map to a display pixel by pixel. If you think about it a bit you would realize that a data format that is based on pixels could never be resolution independent. Further resizing bit maps is a function of the CPU/GPU not the display.



    The fact is any vector or font drawing operation on iOS devices are done independent of screen resolution. This capability has also come to Lion for the Macs. it is one of the reasons many developers had such an easy time when iPhone came out with the Retina screen. If they had followed Apples recommendations they had a minimal amount of work to do, generally focused on bitmaps.
  • asciiascii Posts: 5,363member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by solipsism View Post


    I think they'll have to go with an A6 with a much upgraded GPU, at least, for that resolution display but they may be able to save money by keeping the current 16, 32 and 64GB capacities at the same price points for another year but use denser NAND. That alone could offset the costs even though I'd love to see 128GB in the next model but that's because I'm finally using the crap out of my iPad 2 and wish I didn't get the 16GB model.



    That's a good point about the denser NAND. I'm not sure they will *necessarily* need a better GPU, because there is no way games will run at native res anyway. e.g. on a PC, to run games at that res, you need a big fat dual-GPU video card with fans up the wazoo. So I suspect games will stay at 1024, even on iPad 3. (heh, I just typed ipad with a small "P" and Lion auto-corrected it!)



    The only apps that will run at full res are productivity apps. But you are right, there are probably 3D productivity apps too, that will need a better GPU. The main benefit I see to a higher res screen is beautiful fonts and HD movies. The fonts is an important one, because I think people really notice text quality. After using HD text on an iPad 3, the competitors will look really cheap in comparison.
  • suddenly newtonsuddenly newton Posts: 13,157member
    That's more believable. As rumors go, I hope this one pans out.
  • wigginwiggin Posts: 2,196member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by solipsism View Post


    The iPhone 4 display...seemed like it would be too pricey at current price points... That could even mean losing some profit on the device to secure the tablet market for the foreseeable future.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by solipsism View Post


    ...but they may be able to save money by keeping the current 16, 32 and 64GB capacities at the same price points for another year.



    You beat me to the point about them not upgrading capacities to help cover the cost of the high res display. Same thing they did for the iPhone 4, which was the first time they didn't double the capacity with an upgrade. They could also not upgrade the camera, which is also a typical upgrade for each new iDevice revision (either adding a camera or improving it).



    If Apple were to offer two versions of the iPad, one with the high res display and one with double the storage, all else being the same including price, I'd be hard pressed to choose but would likely go with the increased storage. (Not that I need 128 GBs, but that I'd like 32 and 64 GB options and the low and mid price points.)
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