Originally Posted by ascii
We can safely predict the iPad 3 will have a Retina display this year. And maybe even some of the smaller Macs. But I wonder what totally new stuff Apple is working on?
I disagree. Apple has at no point indicated that a Retina display is on the way for the iPad. I point this out because if the next iPad lacks such a display, Apple will have done nothing wrong.
I'm not saying that the higher-res display is out of the question but rather that Apple itself has not indicated that it is coming. Hence, let's deal with facts and not declare a rumour about upcoming hardware the same as an announced product. In a few weeks we'll have the actual iPad 3 to consider and don't be shocked if Apple chooses lighter weight, lower cost, better battery life and more real memory capacity over a much higher resolution.
By not opting for the Retina display, Apple could, for instance, bring out a new iPad that retails for about the same price as we currently get yet adding 3G for no additional charge. Doing that, the iPad would have three price points instead of six and would offer (using US pricing) a $499, $599, and $699 model. Gone would be the $629, $729 and $829 models. This device would be lighter than the current iPad, enjoy better battery life and sport a faster processor.
The Retina Display would force Apple to keep the cost unchanged or worse, increase it. The unit would be heavier, need more battery capacity, and files taking advantage of the higher resolution would eat up more memory. In other words, lose/lose/lose/lose for one gain, i.e. higher resolution. Doesn't seem like a good trade-off to me and it feels like the sort of direction Apple would never go in.
Look at this another way. If Apple did offer two versions, with and without the Retina display, consider how the two models would compare. Let's say that the one with the current screen resolution had a few upgrades that resulted in faster performance, with a modest weight loss, slightly better battery life, and the price was $449 in the US instead of $499 for the base model. Then there would be the iPad Retina, starting at $599, with more weight (additional tech to handle the display and the need for a bigger battery). So, do you pay $449 and get a lighter device or pay $599 and get a heavier one that has less effective memory capacity with no additional battery capacity, maybe less.
With all those trade-offs, I would expect the Retina iPad to be a sales flop. I mean, who among us wants a heavier, more expensive iPad especially considering few of us seem to be complaining about the screen currently offered with the iPad. If the screen really needs an upgrade, how is it that millions are happily using the current iPad.