Apple leaning towards dual LED light-bars for iPad 3's Retina Display

Posted:
in iPad edited January 2014
With Apple's next-generation iPad expected to adopt much higher resolution displays, the electronics maker and its component suppliers are reportedly challenged with designing new backlight solutions capable of maintaining the tablet's existing level of brightness with the higher density panels.



Citing sources within Apple's Taiwanese supply chain, DigiTimes claims that the single LED back-light bar designed for the iPad 2's 1024 x 768 resolution display is insufficient for maintaining and strengthening the brightness of the iPad 3's planned upgraded to a double pixel density "Retina Display" long rumored to be in the ballpark of 2048 by 1536 pixels.



As such, LED back-light unit (BLU) vendors have reportedly pitched two alternative solutions to the Cupertino-based company, including a new design that maintains a single-bar form factor but with two LED chips nestled inside.



Apple, however, is said to be leading towards a second option that proposes using dual-LED light bars inside the iPad 3 -- one on the left and one on the right -- now that the BLU makers have reportedly conquered initial design glitches that created heat dissipation and battery consumption problems earlier in their development.



Difficulty with the higher resolution displays and new LED backlight design is already reported to have "affected the launch schedule" of the iPad 3. Still, necessary components for the tablet's production have been arriving at Apple's overseas manufacturing facilities since the end of October, as Apple reportedly aspires to pre-construct roughly 2 million of the new tablets by the end of December in anticipation of a launch in March of 2012.



In addition to the higher resolution displays, the next iPad is also rumored to adopt a quad-core A6 processor based on either Samsung's or TSMC's 28-nanometer processing technology. Other rumored enhancements include a redesigned, smaller dock connector that will allow Apple to continue to shave down the tablet's thickness, and a thinner, lighter battery pack meeting CTIA IEE 1625 standard for better quality and safety reliability that will reportedly offer a longer service life than the battery found in the iPad 2.







If sources within Apple's supply chain are to be believed, the company as of last week had still yet to sign off on a finalized design for the new tablet that will ultimately be sent to mass production. Instead, it's reportedly been developing two next-generation designs -- code-named "J1" and "J2" -- that each sport slightly different sizes, specifications and technologies.



According to one report, the J2 project is a more ambitious upgraded to the iPad 2 than the J1 project and Apple is "likely to make the final decision" on which model to mass produce based on "its needs" and intelligence on what rival tablet makers will be capable of producing come early next year.



For more on Apple's reported plans for the next iPad, please see AppleInsider's iPad 3 information archive in addition to its special report on Why high resolution screens will matter on the iPad.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 38
    saareksaarek Posts: 1,105member
    A quad core A6 and a retina display might just be enough to make me upgrade from my original iPad.



    This is an important market for Apple so I'm pretty sure they will come out firing on all cylinders.



    Just hope they release it in April and don't make people wait like we had to for the iPhone 4S
  • Reply 2 of 38
    A quad core cpu, 2 led bands for the display and a high res display , would this make for horrible battery life?
  • Reply 3 of 38
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 6,782member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by majortom1981 View Post


    A quad core cpu, 2 led bands for the display and a high res display , would this make for horrible battery life?



    Real customers want ease of use and long battery life. Nerds only care about technical specifications whether they translate into actual performance improvements or not. Nerds still won't buy iPods because they don't support Ogg Vorbis. Apple can never satisfy the nerds so I hope they concentrate on their bread and butter customers and work on battery technology first. Then they can up the processor power and resolution.
  • Reply 4 of 38
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by lkrupp View Post


    Real customers want ease of use and long battery life. Nerds only care about technical specifications whether they translate into actual performance improvements or not. Nerds still won't buy iPods because they don't support Ogg Vorbis. Apple can never satisfy the nerds so I hope they concentrate on their bread and butter customers and work on battery technology first. Then they can up the processor power and resolution.



    There must not be a lot of `real nerds' left, by the looks of how many millions of iPads Apple keep selling.
  • Reply 5 of 38
    sennensennen Posts: 1,465member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by lkrupp View Post


    Nerds still won't buy iPods because they don't support Ogg Vorbis.



    lol, Ogg Vorbis.
  • Reply 6 of 38
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by mdriftmeyer View Post


    There must not be a lot of `real nerds' left, by the looks of how many millions of iPads Apple keep selling.



    Oh there are plenty of nerds left. its only the real anal ones that give two hoots about the exact number of bytes of ram available to Application B when Application A is processing data from Application C.



    We call them "arse holes" and are generally ignored
  • Reply 7 of 38
    eriamjheriamjh Posts: 1,113member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


    ... now that the BLU makers have reportedly conquered initial design glitches that created heat dissipation and battery consumption problems earlier in their development.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by majortom1981 View Post


    A quad core cpu, 2 led bands for the display and a high res display , would this make for horrible battery life?



    That's why Apple doesn't usually just slap components together and release a product. They consider critical aspects of the design (like battery life) and they fix them before they go into production.



    Now if only they could fix muted outgoing calls and battery glitches on the iPhone 4S before launch, that would be something.



    My iPhone 4 does not have these issues with iOS5, thank goodness.
  • Reply 8 of 38
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by sennen View Post


    lol, Ogg Vorbis.



    AKA Highly Overrated Audio Format. The only reason the nerds jump all over it is because it is open source.



    OGG is actually no better than a high bit-rate MP3 - its actually a direct competitor to MP3 so you didn't have to pay for MP3 codec licenses (that has been rendered moot since the introduction of the LAME codec). In fact, OGG and MP3 are rendered obsolete by M4A audio via the Advanced Audio Codec (AAC). The AAC Codec used by iTunes, Playstation, Nintendo (pretty much everything) achieves far better sound quality than both OGG Vorbis and MP3. if anything these nerds should be jumping all over the iPod for its high quality codec pack. Its just Open Source nerds defending open source tech for no reason other than it is open source.



    Disclaimer: Audio/Music producer for 7 years, semi-pro for 3



  • Reply 9 of 38
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Eriamjh View Post


    Now if only they could fix muted outgoing calls and battery glitches on the iPhone 4S before launch, that would be something.



    My iPhone 4 does not have these issues with iOS5, thank goodness.



    My iPhone4 seems to have had steroids pumped into its battery since the iOS5 update. Took it off the charger at 8:20 this morning - blue-toothed it to my car for music, sent a few texts, checked the time etc. and i'm still sporting 98% battery at 1:30 in the afternoon.
  • Reply 10 of 38
    Joined at the middle? Oe layered? Some of the new flat screen edge led are really bright.
  • Reply 11 of 38
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by lkrupp View Post


    Real customers want ease of use and long battery life. Nerds only care about technical specifications



    Since when does wanting a retina display on an iPad equate to being a nerd? Even the most technically lay person can understand a sharper display for reading.
  • Reply 12 of 38
    Seems to me 1280 x 960 would be a more usable format.



    Can't we just have improvements we more need?
  • Reply 13 of 38
    charlitunacharlituna Posts: 7,205member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by aBeliefSystem View Post


    Seems to me 1280 x 960 would be a more usable format.



    1080p would be even more usable. Especially if Apple has some video of that size up their sleeves.



    That said, I agree with the base notion that a 300+dpi screen on the iPad isn't what we need at the moment if ever. But the brightest is a major complaint, especially outdoors. If this dual bar and a better light sensor would fix that then I hope this rumor is true.
  • Reply 14 of 38
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by aBeliefSystem View Post


    Seems to me 1280 x 960 would be a more usable format.



    Can't we just have improvements we more need?



    You understand that this isn't "Desktop Area". Everything on the iPad is represented in points (not pixels). Going to 1280x960 would produce artifacts on points that are supposed to be pixel aligned. If they don't use a power of two increase in resolution, it will put a lot of effort on developers. Many of those developers won't have their products updated for the iPad 3 release and it would look bad to end users. This isn't a problem on the desktop (and probably on Android devices) because they just make everything smaller with the higher resolution instead of using the resolution to make everything clearer.
  • Reply 15 of 38
    Apple seems to be driving iPad technology out of the range of rivals if a Retina-class display is something that consumers really take to. It will force rivals to keep cutting corners to stay within a certain price range if they try to copy what Apple is doing. It's a pretty shrewd strategy for Apple as long as they don't try to push too far in making the iPad difficult to manufacture. It might stretch out production time too much. I personally question the need for such a high-resolution display, but it may be just Apple's strategy to thwart copycats. I hope it works, because if consumers are just as well satisfied with the Kindle Fire's 7" medium resolution display for viewing content, then maybe Apple is just wasting its time.
  • Reply 16 of 38
    mhiklmhikl Posts: 471member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by benanderson89 View Post


    AKA Highly Overrated Audio Format. The only reason the nerds jump all over it is because it is open source.



    OGG is actually no better than a high bit-rate MP3 - its actually a direct competitor to MP3 so you didn't have to pay for MP3 codec licenses (that has been rendered moot since the introduction of the LAME codec). In fact, OGG and MP3 are rendered obsolete by M4A audio via the Advanced Audio Codec (AAC). The AAC Codec used by iTunes, Playstation, Nintendo (pretty much everything) achieves far better sound quality than both OGG Vorbis and MP3. if anything these nerds should be jumping all over the iPod for its high quality codec pack. Its just Open Source nerds defending open source tech for no reason other than it is open source.

    Disclaimer: Audio/Music producer for 7 years, semi-pro for 3



    Good to have this made so clear.

    Ever thought of adding “or imagination” to your signature? = Knockout.
  • Reply 17 of 38
    iPad rumours are so frequent, especially coming from DigiTimes and they are so unreliable that I really think all of this stuff is purely a time waster. What's going to matter is what Apple really does release early next year when the iPad 3 is introduced. Ignore the rumours of that device coming with whatever specs happen to be the latest Digitimes and others conjure up and be especially dismissive of claims that the model coming out early next year is only an interim partial update and the real IPad 3 will come to market later in the year. Don't believe it.



    Here's how I think it works. If one claims that there will be multiple updates of the iPad in the same calendar year, then one can generate rumours related to said updates pretty much 12 months of the year. If you're not so much in the business of providing reliable information on what is in store for the iPad and more about generating interest in your publication through a constant stream of iPad rumours, it pays to imply lots of iPad versions are coming. A 7-incher to go with the 9.7-incher. Not. A major update to follow months after a less major one. Not.



    Apple has no competition and the best way to make more money is to not alter your product several times a year but rather to redesign on something closer to an annual schedule. This is what Apple has done, so far, with the iPad and there is no reason to imagine Apple feels the need to speed up its update process.



    The tablet wars are over and Apple has clearly won. Hence, Apple can dictate what direction the iPad takes and at what pace the model will be updated.



    I would give a lot more credence to rumours surfacing weeks before the new model is due to be unveiled because there do tend to be leaks close to intro. But it's November and the next iPad will likely be introduced roughly in March. Anything rumoured now is likely more wild guessing than concrete info.

    It wouldn't surprise me in the slightest if a few months from now we get only a moderately altered iPad, something like the incremental update we got this year, and that's it for calendar 2012. I believe it's enough because the competition is simply not even close to making a dent and has been pointed out, dramatically boosting screen resolution and processing power comes at a cost. In order for the iPad to remain wildly popular it needs to be reasonably priced and offer solid battery life. The current pricing for the iPad is the sweet spot, I believe, and the most impressive aspect to the original iPad. Competitors just can't build a tablet for much less money that anyone would enjoy owning. So if you're putting out the cash, why would you settle for somebody else's inferior product? It would be as if we could all own BMWs or Lexus' or Mercedes' and competitors were putting out lesser cars for the same price and expecting to sell more units. The only reason we're not all driving BMWs is that most of us would rather not (or can not) spend so much on a car. With tablets, that's just not the case. The decision is simple for most consumers. Want or need a tablet, buy an iPad.



    So is the retina display likely at this time? My guess, and it is just a guess, is that the answer is no. Not essential. Too many complications. Just not worth it. Maybe in 2014 or 2015. Right now, though, why put such an expensive bit of tech in a wildly popular product that owners seem to love as is. It's only inviting headaches Apple doesn't need. What's the motivation, from Apple's perspective. There isn't any that I can determine.





    I have held off buying an iPad but in a few months, even after what will no doubt be regarded as a wildly disappointing upgrade, I will buy one. What I think I'm going to get is a slightly lighter, somewhat faster version of the current model. Good enough for me and more to the point, good enough for the vast majority of those contemplating a tablet purchase in the coming year.
  • Reply 18 of 38
    shaoshao Posts: 39member
    I'm missing something. How does the pixel density require more LEDs on a backlit display, assuming the screensize is the same. That makes no sense - the light from the back lighting is still being dispersed over the same area, and shone through the same amount of 'screen'.



    personally, i think more people would be happier with similar resolution HD Super AMOLED display on the ipad3 for a number of reasons.

    1) much better battery life, especially at high brightness levels

    2) much better contrast, and therefore true blacks
  • Reply 19 of 38
    mhiklmhikl Posts: 471member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Carmissimo View Post


    iPad rumours are so frequent, especially coming from DigiTimes and they are so unreliable that I really think all of this stuff is purely a time waster. . . . The current pricing for the iPad is the sweet spot, I believe, and the most impressive aspect to the original iPad. Competitors just can't build a tablet for much less money that anyone would enjoy owning. So if you're putting out the cash, why would you settle for somebody else's inferior product? . . .



    Excellent points. Remember the forecast price for the first iPad? A grand or better was the expected for an Apple tab. And when announced at half, the wannabes headed for the outhouse and haven’t come out with anything viable. The MBA carries on this charge and may be the way into the future of Apple pricing.
  • Reply 20 of 38
    flaneurflaneur Posts: 4,509member
    @Resolution skeptics: The Jivean (Jobs+Ive) mandate is to make the product with most sensory appeal possible, given the usual technical and economic constraints. Doesn't so much matter what we think we need or what the competition is doing. They will show us what we've been wanting without knowing it until we see it. It will be irresistible, and they know that.



    You think the iPhone screen is amazing, wait till you see it writ large. The most amazing visual experience you can have in your lap. Er, in your hands. Oh, forget it.
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