iPad 3 with Retina display, new device sized between iPad and iPod in Apple's pipeline

Posted:
in iPad edited April 2014
While conflicting rumors have described both a larger screen and a smaller, cheaper iPhone model purportedly planned for this summer, one connected industry expert tells AppleInsider that Apple is also working to expand its tablet offerings with a Retina Display iPad 3 and new device that may be either a smaller iPad or larger iPod touch.



Word of the so-called "tweener" tablet from Apple arrived last month, when Analyst Ming-Chi Kuo of Concord Securities informed AppleInsider of detailed component plans attributed to iPad 2. The analyst also outlined Apple's expected production ratios of WiFi, CDMA and GSM/UMTS iPad 2 models.



iPad 3: double resolution IPS/FFS display



A third point relayed by Kuo was that a successive iPad 3 model would incorporate a 9.7 inch IPS panel with FFS (fringe-field switching) technology, which enables a wider viewing angle and clearer visual quality under in sunlight. Kuo previously reported last May that the upcoming iPhone 4 would incorporate a double resolution, 960x640 display using IPS/FFS, which Apple subsequently released under the name Retina Display. He was also correct in nailing down in advance that iPhone 4 would supply twice the RAM of the iPad.



Kuo now claims that iPad 3 will deliver a Retina Display-like quality and resolution doubling to 2048x1536, an enhancement originally thought to make it into the more immediate release of iPad 2.



However, Kuo told AppleInsider last month that iPad 2 isn't getting the new panel yet because of limited manufacturing yield rates. "At this point," he 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." Upcoming iPad 2 models are instead said to be using a thinner panel with "anti-reflection" to deliver a better experience in bright sunlight.



iPad mini, or big iPod touch



Kuo also described a new iOS device that is undergoing evaluation for a potential release during the second half of 2011, with a screen size between that of the current iPad and the iPhone. Speaking of this new product, Kuo said he was "not sure" whether it would be "a 'Super iPhone' or a 'iPad mini.'" Subsequent speculation by a variety of Apple observers, including a new posting from Vláďa Janeček of Czech site SuperApple, similarly suggest an iPad with a screen close to 6 inches.



Given the company's regular criticisms of competitor's half-sized tablet offerings, Apple will almost certainly not deliver a tweener iPad with a 5 to 7 inch screen size.



However, Apple may be interested in delivering an oversized iPod touch intended to fill the gap between its 3.5 inch, smartphone sized iOS devices and its full sized 9.7 inch iPad.



The company has strongly expressed its contention that "tweener" sized tablets smaller than the iPad are not capable of delivering a real tablet experience. However, there does appear to be a market for oversized smartphones, with some Android models offering 4 inch or larger displays that simply blow up the screen rather than offering more to see. Some consumers, particularly older individuals with limited vision, have expressed keen interest in these larger phones.



With a 5 inch screen, a "big iPod touch" at its existing resolution would offer a 230ppi screen density; stretched across a 7 inch screen the same resolution would deliver 164ppi, still higher than the existing iPad's pixel density of 132ppi. Rather than trying to crush the full sized iPad's resolution into a smaller screen, something Apple's chief executive Steve Jobs quipped last fall would require filing down users' fingers, such a device could simply serve as an expansion of the iPod family, offering a larger view of the simpler iPod touch user interface.



Along similar lines, between 2001 and 2006 Apple offered two iBook models offering the same 1024x768 resolution on either 12.1 and 14.1 inch screens, aiming the larger model at people who simply wanted a bigger view of the same desktop. The company now sells its 15.4 inch MacBook Pro and 13.3 inch MacBook Air with the same 1440x900 resolution.



A 4 to 7 inch iPod touch could serve to expand Apple's iPod offerings, enabling the company to more directly compete with handheld gaming devices by leveraging iTunes media, compatibility with third party apps, and iOS' existing support for features like push email, FaceTime video calling, Game Center, and upcoming features such as expected music and photo cloud features and voice activated assistance services.









On page 2 of 2: Expanding the definition of tablet



Expanding the definition of tablet



Apple's iPod touch is currently not counted as a tablet (not even a "media tablet") by market research firms such as IDC and Gartner, but that practice would be harder to maintain if Apple were to ship a larger version of the device with the same 960x640 resolution.



Other companies, including Dell and Samsung, have delivered devices with lower resolutions on "tweener" sized tablets, which are counted as "media tablets," even though they have found minimal interest among consumers.



A new, larger iPad touch model could potentially deliver an additional competitor to the low end tablet market currently represented by the Samsung Galaxy Tab and Dell Streak, while still remaining well differentiated from the more sophisticated iPad in order to avoid direct competition.



Such a strategy would resemble Apple's efforts to expand the market of the original iPod with the iPod mini, a product which targeted the lower end of flash RAM music players while leaving the iPod to service its original market as a high capacity device.



A big iPod touch would also help differentiate the general purpose, full sized iPad from other smaller, low end tablet devices, forcing them to compete against Apple's media-centric iPod touch rather than being drawn into comparison next to iPad. Both IDC and Gartner group include media-centric tablets as small as 5 inches in the same category as the iPad while completely ignoring the tens of millions of iPod touch devices Apple already sells.



An iPod-branded small tablet strategy would also explain why Kuo cited a delivery target of the second half of 2011, likely coinciding with Apple's fall iPod event rather than being connected to the firm's spring launch of iPad 2 or the summer debut of iPhone 5.



At the launch of the original iPod touch, Apple worked to differentiate the new model with a unique physical design and limited software features compared to iPhone. While the iPod touch continues to be styled as uniquely different than iPhone, Apple has since relaxed its artificial limitations related to functionality, cultivating the product with a focus on gaming. This has resulted in iPod touch sales helping to support the iOS development platform, an element missing from most other smartphone platforms.



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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 140
    They should keep any iterations of the iPad with 7 inch screen or more. Any smaller and its intention is lost. Make the iPod Touch bigger, don't make the iPad smaller.
  • Reply 2 of 140
    Sure, nailed it, that's it...
  • Reply 3 of 140
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by stevemost View Post


    Sure, nailed it, that's it...



    How is this "breaking news"?
  • Reply 4 of 140
    Reasonable
  • Reply 5 of 140
    If the new screen is denser pixel wise, it would work. 1024 by 768 in a smaller form would be the way to go.
  • Reply 6 of 140
    shaun, ukshaun, uk Posts: 1,050member
    I'm convinced it will be a 6" iPod Touch to compete directly with the Sony NGP and a colour Kindle, targeted at gamers and ebook readers. This would allow Apple to rejuvenate flagging iPod sales and re-invent the brand once again. It would also enable them to maintain margins in an increasingly competitive marketplace for cheap 3" media players.



    Apple could then target the iPad more towards business, education and productivity apps so they can maintain it's price levels. If anything I think we may see larger not smaller iPads in the future as more and more people use them as laptop replacements.
  • Reply 7 of 140
    wigginwiggin Posts: 2,265member
    This supports what I've been saying since the first rumors that smaller and larger iPhone were going to be released. These are really iPods. The larger one is an expansion of the iPod touch size, and the smaller one is the replacement of the iPod Classic. Anything smaller than the current iPhone/touch is too small, so it will be a simplified UI and simplified hardware (no Retina display, slower processor, no internet) and the savings will be used to cram in as much flash storage as possible so it can replace the Classic. The larger touch will still have only 64 GB max storage in order to keep the current price points with the larger screen. The Classic replacement will have 128 GB (maybe 172 GB using 3 x 64 GB chipsets).
  • Reply 8 of 140
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


    ... Apple is also working to expand its tablet offerings with a Retina Display iPad 3 and new device that may be either a smaller iPad or larger iPod touch. ...



    Whether or not they make a tweener device, I don't buy the argument presented here that it's more likely to be a "big iPod touch" than a "small iPad."



    It's six of one and half a dozen of the other. The argument for why they would/wouldn't make a small iPad is exactly the same as to why they would/wouldn't make a large iPod. I think the author is just fooling himself to think these are different arguments or that the products are essentially different.



    It's like coming up with an argument as to why ghosts aren't real but claiming that this same information proves on the other hand, that "spirits" do exist. It seems nonsensical to me.
  • Reply 9 of 140
    On feb 5th, I wrote a speculative blog entry abut how Apple should make a 5" iPod Touch, calling it iPod Play or iPlay entirely. The reasoning being that 3.5" is a screen size for 1 hand use - a phone. People use their iPod Touches with 2 hands in landcape most of the time and so the device should be bigger. I argued that the size of most pockets limit what an big iPod Touch is and where we cross the line into small iPads.



    I think 6" may be a bit too big for an iPod Touch. I also think, Apple will put in a retina display at 1024x768 pixels so at dev can just use the iPad-class images with it, while the UI will be redrawn automatically. To maintain 300 dpi or more, the screen at that resolution cannot be bigger than 5".



    The articles is here:

    http://lantinian.blogspot.com/2011/0...ipod-play.html



    The second blog post deals more with the name "iPod Touch", I am 100% that should the iPod be rebranded to "iPlay", Apple will see success and buz rivaling that of the iPad and iPhone. Right now the iPod Touch is a hiding with the other iPods.



    http://lantinian.blogspot.com/2011/0...pod-brand.html
  • Reply 10 of 140
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Prof. Peabody View Post


    Whether or not they make a tweener device, I don't buy the argument presented here that it's more likely to be a "big iPod touch" than a "small iPad."



    It's six of one and half a dozen of the other. The argument for why they would/wouldn't make a small iPad is exactly the same as to why they would/wouldn't make a large iPod.



    Yeah, I think the author's point is that Apple would market this device as a large iPod rather than as a small iPad, but I agree that there's not really any difference between the two other than marketing and what software is allowed to run on it.



    The iPad was already criticized as a "bigger iPod touch" when it came out, so I wonder if this product did go in that direction, would be easier or harder for Apple to continue to distinguish between the two lines in people's minds?
  • Reply 11 of 140
    I'm still sceptical.
  • Reply 12 of 140
    pokepoke Posts: 506member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Prof. Peabody View Post


    Whether or not they make a tweener device, I don't buy the argument presented here that it's more likely to be a "big iPod touch" than a "small iPad."



    It's six of one and half a dozen of the other. The argument for why they would/wouldn't make a small iPad is exactly the same as to why they would/wouldn't make a large iPod. I think the author is just fooling himself to think these are different arguments or that the products are essentially different.



    It's like coming up with an argument as to why ghosts aren't real but claiming that this same information proves on the other hand, that "spirits" do exist. It seems nonsensical to me.



    The difference is they run entirely different UIs for the OS and all the software.



    I don't see how that's not obvious. The iPad UI can't be scaled down without making it difficult to use whereas the iPod UI can be scaled up without difficulty.
  • Reply 13 of 140
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by lantinian View Post


    I think 6" may be a bit too big for an iPod Touch. I also think, Apple will put in a retina display at 1024x768 pixels so at dev can just use the iPad-class images with it, while the UI will be redrawn automatically. To maintain 300 dpi or more, the screen at that resolution cannot be bigger than 5".



    The articles is here:

    http://lantinian.blogspot.com/2011/0...ipod-play.html



    The second blog post deals more with the name "iPod Touch", I am 100% that should the iPod be rebranded to "iPlay", Apple will see success and buz rivaling that of the iPad and iPhone. Right now the iPod Touch is a hiding with the other iPods.



    http://lantinian.blogspot.com/2011/0...pod-brand.html



    Interesting! iPlay is a great name but i think it would likely remain: iPod ______ ...there's no room in their website header baar for "iPlay" haha



    The developers using iPad size would be genius.
  • Reply 14 of 140
    jnjnjnjnjnjn Posts: 588member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by YakkoW View Post


    Yeah, I think the author's point is that Apple would market this device as a large iPod rather than as a small iPad, but I agree that there's not really any difference between the two other than marketing and what software is allowed to run on it.



    The iPad was already criticized as a "bigger iPod touch" when it came out, so I wonder if this product did go in that direction, would be easier or harder for Apple to continue to distinguish between the two lines in people's minds?



    It's not what software is 'allowed' to run on it, it's what software is suited for it.

    And this is exactly the difference between a tablet (experience) and that of an iPhone or iPod touch.

    So what you are saying is that there is not difference, except for the difference...

    Your also implying you know better than Apple with all of its research in this area, kind of arrogant, I think. Or did you do comparable research?



    J.
  • Reply 15 of 140
    It's essentially a small iPad, but it's marketed as a big iPod Touch.



    That is just brilliant.
  • Reply 16 of 140
    Didn't Steve Jobs said that a tablet smaller than 10" will be DOA. So, NO.
  • Reply 17 of 140
    wigginwiggin Posts: 2,265member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Prof. Peabody View Post


    Whether or not they make a tweener device, I don't buy the argument presented here that it's more likely to be a "big iPod touch" than a "small iPad."



    It's six of one and half a dozen of the other. The argument for why they would/wouldn't make a small iPad is exactly the same as to why they would/wouldn't make a large iPod. I think the author is just fooling himself to think these are different arguments or that the products are essentially different.



    It's like coming up with an argument as to why ghosts aren't real but claiming that this same information proves on the other hand, that "spirits" do exist. It seems nonsensical to me.



    I disagree. They are different devices. Remember when the iPad was about to be released and people were saying it's going to be "just a big iPod" and what would be the point of that! But then Apple showed that the UIs were indeed different. The iPad's larger screen allowed for a more detailed and complex UI with flyouts and such. The iPod UI is very one-dimensional, while the iPad is a bit more "layered" (for that lack of a better term) and rich. Think of the difference between the address book on the iPod and the iPad.



    I would expect a larger iPod to remain a mostly a one-dimenional UI, and that will remain as the difference between an iPod and an iPad, regardless of what the screen sizes are.



    The real question to me is what additional features the iPod would gain? A 5-6" iPod touch with the photo import capabilities of the iPad would be the perfect device to me.
  • Reply 18 of 140
    It's good to see that Apple has finally gotten proactive here, and is starting to just feed-out every bitch-ass crazy rumor they can so that nobody knows what the hell is going on.

    ...About time.
  • Reply 19 of 140
    kotatsukotatsu Posts: 1,010member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Shaun, UK View Post


    I'm convinced it will be a 6" iPod Touch to compete directly with the Sony NGP and a colour Kindle, targeted at gamers and ebook readers. This would allow Apple to rejuvenate flagging iPod sales and re-invent the brand once again. It would also enable them to maintain margins in an increasingly competitive marketplace for cheap 3" media players.



    Apple could then target the iPad more towards business, education and productivity apps so they can maintain it's price levels. If anything I think we may see larger not smaller iPads in the future as more and more people use them as laptop replacements.



    Even with the rumoured quicker GPU and CPU in the next iPhone, it would still have less than half the power of the NGP, plus of course, no physical buttons, which are essential for serious NGP level gaming.



    It would be more of a Kindle competitor, but the Kindle is a *lot* cheaper...
  • Reply 20 of 140
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by ElmCityWeb View Post


    They should keep any iterations of the iPad with 7 inch screen or more. Any smaller and its intention is lost. Make the iPod Touch bigger, don't make the iPad smaller.



    What's the difference. Particularly if the iPad gets the cameras this year. Little to nothing.



    As for the notion of making a bigger iPad. I doubt it. Apple seems to believe they have the form pretty close to perfect. So outside of small changes like maybe reducing the bezel to shave off a tiny bit, I think the iPad will get thinner with 'bigger' internals
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