Rumor: Apple manufacturers facing difficulties producing high-res screens for iPad 3

Posted:
in iPad edited January 2014
Apple's suppliers are said to have come up against challenges in their efforts to mass produce a high-resolution Retina-like display for the iPad 3, a new report claims.



The Cupertino, Calif., company is aiming for a screen upgrade in its next-generation iPad that approaches the Retina Display quality of the iPhone, but the new display will likely face production difficulties on the way to market, a source familiar with Asia-based suppliers who have knowledge of Apple's plans told CNET.



The iPhone 4S and its predecessor sport 960 x 640 3.5-inch displays with pixel density of 326 pixels per inch, enough to make individual pixels indistinguishable to the human eye at a normal usage distance of 12 inches.



According to the publication's source, display makers LG Display and Samsung can already make a double-resolution iPad-sized display with a resolution of 2,048 x 1,536, but volume production for the displays is still in the planning stages.



"[LG and Samsung] have production plans for 2,048x1,536 displays. Starting in November. But those are only plans at this point," the source said, adding that the display should have a brightness of 550 nits.



"The challenge is making lots of them," the tipster continued. "This is a quantum leap in pixel density. This hasn't been done before."



Should the double-resolution option prove too tricky to produce in large numbers in time for the iPad 3 launch, the source said an "interim option" of 1,600 x 1,200 is waiting in the wings. Such a fix, however, would likely require a software tweak in order to accommodate the alternate resolution.



Apple's next-generation touchscreen tablet is expected to arrive early next year. Rumors of resolution doubling in the iPad 3 emerged earlier this year even before the iPad 2 was released.







According to a report by The Wall Street Journal in August, Apple's suppliers will ramp up production of the new displays throughout this quarter. Trial production of the 1.5 million iPad 3 units was said to begin sometime this month.



A high-resolution display on an iPad would serve as an impressive selling point to help drive continued breakout sales of the device, which is already dominating the tablet market. Some have suggested that Apple will market the upgraded iPad as a high-end model alongside a cheaper iPad 2.



The next-gen device is also expected to sport a quad-core A6 processor based on either Samsung's or TSMC's 28-nanometer processing technology.



Another recent rumor claimed Apple was working on a redesigned, smaller dock connector for the device.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 47
    richlrichl Posts: 2,213member
    I can't see Apple going with a 1600x1200 screen. Many older apps simply wouldn't work at such a resolution.



    Better to stick with the current screen resolution and put more engineering effort into other areas.
  • Reply 2 of 47
    irnchrizirnchriz Posts: 1,544member
    Expect to see a better camera next time too which will support the new iCards for iPad app.
  • Reply 3 of 47
    asciiascii Posts: 5,513member
    It would look A-mazing. The iPhone 4 is done in quantity so I'm sure this can be too.
  • Reply 4 of 47
    My iPad 2 is not pretty enough I demand more! Actually I am very happy with the aspects of the 2 and I can't wait to see what Apple will do to make even more improvements to the 3. A nicer screen would be nice, but I am more interested to see what the A6 will bring.
  • Reply 5 of 47
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Rtapps View Post


    My iPad 2 is not pretty enough I demand more! Actually I am very happy with the aspects of the 2 and I can't wait to see what Apple will do to make even more improvements to the 3. A nicer screen would be nice, but I am more interested to see what the A6 will bring.



    This is a pure speculative story. However, in general it is a challenge to produce such high quality, high resolution screens because of quality control issues.

    My physics teacher told me a few years ago that the Apple cinema displays(old school) were expensive because so many had to be trashed once they were rejected during the inspection process.

    I have the old 17 inch g4 imac with the swivel neck. That display is fu**** awesome. I'm never selling that classic.
  • Reply 6 of 47
    There seems something uncomfortable about outsourcing your screen production to a competitor. Yes, Samsung get paid for the screens, but if they deliberately delayed supply by inventing false production issues, causing iPad 3 to be late, might it not be tempting to launch the Galaxy Tab 3 to take advantage -or at the very least use Apple's work as R&D for your own tablet screens?



    This is a dysfunctional relationship. The sooner Apple spend some of their cash pile on their own screen factory the better.
  • Reply 7 of 47
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by joindup View Post


    There seems something uncomfortable about outsourcing your screen production to a competitor. Yes, Samsung get paid for the screens, but if they deliberately delayed supply by inventing false production issues, causing iPad 3 to be late, might it not be tempting to launch the Galaxy Tab 3 to take advantage -or at the very least use Apple's work as R&D for your own tablet screens?



    This is a dysfunctional relationship. The sooner Apple spend some of their cash pile on their own screen factory the better.



    +1! Even though I see the thought/business practice of purchasing "best of breed" components from whom ever makes the best at the time; this is starting to get very dangerous for Apple.



    Considering the litigation arguments by SameSung, the attempts to "muddy the water" with irrelevant lawsuits against Apple... and the political and media posturing against Apple within South Korea... it's becoming a nasty problem with which Tim Cook is going to have to grapple with.



    TC's manufacturing plans and strategy to date have been, may I say, flawless. Looks like he'll have to revise a bit. I think this will be his toughest test: getting what he wants, without SJ playing the bad guy in negotiations. The bottleneck has been, and still is, the components and the large supply that Apple demands when they roll out product. We've seen this before with the iPhone4, iPad 2, and currently with iP4s.



    Even "if" this plays to Apple's advantage marketing-wise, I'm not sure how long this can... or even should, last.



    Biggest multi-billion $$$ question: can Apple build and maintain a factory for certain components, and ALWAYS be at the forefront of technological advances in the future?



    PS. Shout out to all of the "fair weather Apple fans" that made statements here and elsewhere re: "...iPad2 sucks because it doesn't have a Retina display" ....Uhm.... do you see now the problem that Apple was facing?



    They just plain weren't available in quantity and quality... and still aren't! Also, the A6 WILL be needed to power the beast, not to mention another step up in advanced battery-tech, software and hardware.



    When it comes though... which it will... it's going to be awesome and truly unbelievable.



    At that point, I believe Apple will be sticking A6's and Retina Displays in the MBA and they will take another look at the patent they own. The one where you just slide your iPad or MBA into the side of a 27" Apple display, which becomes your connection hub to everything including power, TB, and USB.
  • Reply 8 of 47
    shaun, ukshaun, uk Posts: 1,050member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by joindup View Post


    There seems something uncomfortable about outsourcing your screen production to a competitor. Yes, Samsung get paid for the screens, but if they deliberately delayed supply by inventing false production issues, causing iPad 3 to be late, might it not be tempting to launch the Galaxy Tab 3 to take advantage -or at the very least use Apple's work as R&D for your own tablet screens?



    This is a dysfunctional relationship. The sooner Apple spend some of their cash pile on their own screen factory the better.



    Agreed. I know the arguement is that by sourcing components rather than developing them yourself you can pick and choose the best available but it also leads to problems. Apple gains a competitive advantage by developing its own ARM chips. They can build better chips than anyone else and are not tied to Intel's chip release cycle. Why not extend that into other components like screens.
  • Reply 9 of 47
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by joindup View Post


    There seems something uncomfortable about outsourcing your screen production to a competitor. Yes, Samsung get paid for the screens, but if they deliberately delayed supply by inventing false production issues, causing iPad 3 to be late, might it not be tempting to launch the Galaxy Tab 3 to take advantage -or at the very least use Apple's work as R&D for your own tablet screens?



    This is a dysfunctional relationship. The sooner Apple spend some of their cash pile on their own screen factory the better.



    This is a very sensible, intelligent comment.



    Let's not forget that the iPhone's success is due in no small part to its touch screen technology. Before it came along, there were no touch screen devices. Now everyone is using them.



    At the moment the screen resolution on an Amazon Kindle is around 300 dpi, which makes it very good for reading books and better than the iPad 2. The 80 dpi resolution of the iPad 1 and 2 is okay for most things, but even without the better Kindle isn't great for reading. Your eyes soon tire. I expected to use my iPad for reading much more than I do. Asking friends with iPads about this, I am not alone in regarding the present iPad screen resolution as inadequate.



    In short, the iPad 3 has to offer substantially better screen quality. This requirement is right at the bleeding edge of technology. I don't think Apple will launch iPad 3 until it can achieve the desired yields on news hi res screens. If Samsung doesn't do the right thing, then Apple will have to invest in this technology itself.



    The iPad 2 was meant to have a higher resolution but it wasn't ready. I'd surprised if iPad 3 was delayed for the same reason.
  • Reply 10 of 47
    mjtomlinmjtomlin Posts: 1,708member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by joindup View Post


    There seems something uncomfortable about outsourcing your screen production to a competitor. Yes, Samsung get paid for the screens, but if they deliberately delayed supply by inventing false production issues, causing iPad 3 to be late, might it not be tempting to launch the Galaxy Tab 3 to take advantage -or at the very least use Apple's work as R&D for your own tablet screens?



    This is a dysfunctional relationship. The sooner Apple spend some of their cash pile on their own screen factory the better.



    I don't think so... These are different divisions within Samsung and different people have to answer for their own division's profits. Samsung's display and fabrication divisions are not going to sacrifice revenue because the very low margin consumer electronic division is having a hissy fit. We are talking about billions of dollars in revenue for Samsung.
  • Reply 11 of 47
    s4mb4s4mb4 Posts: 267member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Tailpipe View Post


    This is a very sensible, intelligent comment.



    Let's not forget that the iPhone's success is due in no small part to its touch screen technology. Before it came along, there were no touch screen devices. Now everyone is using them.

    .



    ehh, i was touching a Palm Pilot back in 1996.....
  • Reply 12 of 47
    mjtomlinmjtomlin Posts: 1,708member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Tailpipe View Post


    The 80 dpi resolution of the iPad 1 and 2 is okay for most things, but even without the better Kindle isn't great for reading... the iPad 3 has to offer substantially better screen quality. This requirement is right at the bleeding edge of technology...



    The iPad's dpi is 132, not 80. (1024pixels/7.75" or 768pixels/5.8") Doubling the screen dpi to 264, while leaning towards high end, is not bleeding edge technology. Which really makes me wonder about the validity of this report.





    By the way, the newest Kindle is 175dpi, the older Kindle 2 is 167dpi.
  • Reply 13 of 47
    mjtomlinmjtomlin Posts: 1,708member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by s4mb4 View Post


    ehh, i was touching a Palm Pilot back in 1996.....



    And a Newton in 1993. And many devices before even then.



    I thought the same thing, but just assumed he meant multi-touch screens.
  • Reply 14 of 47
    conradjoeconradjoe Posts: 1,887member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Tailpipe View Post




    The iPad 2 was meant to have a higher resolution but it wasn't ready. I'd surprised if iPad 3 was delayed for the same reason.



    At some point, (maybe after 16 months?) they might leave the screen the same and call it the iPad 2S.



  • Reply 15 of 47
    conradjoeconradjoe Posts: 1,887member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by s4mb4 View Post


    ehh, i was touching a Palm Pilot back in 1996.....



    McDonalds was using touch screen tech well before the iPhone on its cash registers.
  • Reply 16 of 47
    mr omr o Posts: 1,043member
    Steve Jobs Reality Distortion Field is needed right now ?
  • Reply 17 of 47
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by joindup View Post


    This is a dysfunctional relationship. The sooner Apple spend some of their cash pile on their own screen factory the better.



    What's the use of Apple owning a big factory with lots of production capacity without all the Samsung engineers to actually design the components for Apple?



    If Apple wanted to get into the screen business they would actually need to buy a company that knows how to make screens, or at the very least buy some IP to start from.
  • Reply 18 of 47
    macrulezmacrulez Posts: 2,455member
    deleted
  • Reply 19 of 47
    irnchrizirnchriz Posts: 1,544member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by s4mb4 View Post


    ehh, i was touching a Palm Pilot back in 1996.....



    Sorry, you are mistaken. You were PRESSING the Palm pilot screen (look up resistive displays).
  • Reply 20 of 47
    mjtomlinmjtomlin Posts: 1,708member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Firefly7475 View Post


    What's the use of Apple owning a big factory with lots of production capacity without all the Samsung engineers to actually design the components for Apple?



    If Apple wanted to get into the screen business they would actually need to buy a company that knows how to make screens, or at the very least buy some IP to start from.



    Apple has a lot of engineers and I'm pretty sure they already have a display tech group within the company. However, it wouldn't take much to hire people in the field and license various technologies from other display companies as most others do.



    Apple already designs their own SoC, not Samsung. Samsung just fabricates it, mostly because they already have the tools and plants to do so.



    If Apple wants to invest in building their own manufacturing plants, they would just need to hire more people who know how to build and run them. They have groups within the company that deal with, battery chemistry, multi-touch digitizers, ICs, SoCs, logic board designs, etc.
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