'iPad mini' predicted to use same display tech as Apple's iPhone 3GS

Posted:
in iPad edited January 2014
Apple may ensure availability of 7.85-inch displays for a new, smaller iPad by using the same display technology already found on the iPhone 3GS, according to one new prediction.

John Gruber of Daring Fireball believes that if Apple does produce a so-called "iPad mini" for sale this year, it will use the same display as the iPhone 3GS. That's because LCD screens are manufactured in large sheets and are then cut to the size needed, allowing the company to more easily produce 7.85-inch displays with a 1,024-by-768-pixel resolution.

"These are displays Apple knows they can produce efficiently and in enormous quantities," Gruber wrote on Wednesday. "All they have to do is cut them into bigger pieces."

The comments came in response to a pair of reports (1, 2) from Bloomberg and The Wall Street Journal that indicated Apple is planning to launch a smaller iPad, with a screen sized between 7 and 8 inches, before the end of 2012. Bloomberg's report cited an anonymous source who indicated the smaller, cheaper iPad will not feature a high-resolution screen like the 9.7-inch Retina display found on Apple's third-generation iPad.

But by sticking to a resolution of 1,024 by 768, Apple would allow existing applications written for the first-generation iPad and iPad 2 to run natively on the device with no changes necessary. That's because the rumored 7.85-inch display would pack in the same number of pixels as Apple's first two iPad models with larger 9.7-inch screens.

At 7.85 inches diagonally, the height of an "iPad mini" would be roughly the same as the width of the current iPad.

iPad
Current iPad displaying approximate relative screen size of a rumored 7.85-inch "iPad mini."


The iPhone 3GS features a 3.5-inch display with a resolution of 480 by 320 pixels. That's the same resolution screen that was found in the preceding models, the iPhone 3G and the first-generation iPhone.

The iPhone 3GS screen technology has a pixel density of 163 per inch, while the new third-generation iPad squeezes 264 pixels-per-inch into its 9.7-inch screen.

Gruber first indicated in April that Apple was "noodling with" ideas and prototypes for a 7.85-inch iPad, though he cautioned at the time that he's unsure whether such a device would ever actually be released. His most recent comments were made in response to this week's mainstream media reports.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 83
    solipsismxsolipsismx Posts: 19,566member
    I hope people finally understand where the 7.85" screen size comes from.
  • Reply 2 of 83
    applegreenapplegreen Posts: 421member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post





    At 7.85 inches in diameter, the height of an "iPad mini" would be roughly the same as the width of the current iPad.


     



     


    7.85 inches in diameter?  A circular iPad?  That would be neat !

  • Reply 3 of 83
    eriamjheriamjh Posts: 1,686member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by AppleGreen View Post


     


    7.85 inches in diameter?  A circular iPad?  That would be neat !



    Yeah.  It's stuff like this that makes me feel sad for the human race.


     


    Diagonal is not diameter.

  • Reply 4 of 83
    jeffdmjeffdm Posts: 12,953member
    solipsismx wrote: »
    I hope people finally understand where the 7.85" screen size comes from.

    I didn't know. I've never seen any remark on the significance of that exact dimension before. Using the same substrate as the 3GS makes sense, given that it will have to be a more budget panel to fit a budget price.

    The suggestion that the mini's largest dimension is similar to half the iPad's smallest dimension is off by almost half an inch.
  • Reply 5 of 83
    john evosjohn evos Posts: 12member


    Very interesting commentary on the manufacturing process. Was not aware of the "ease of size configuration" with that manufacturing process. Thanks for the info.


     


    7.85 diagonal would make a great siri enabled Apple TV remote control device for the coffee table in the living room home theater................


     


    I would get the smaller iPad mini to go with my current iPad3 which is awesome btw.....!

  • Reply 6 of 83
    xmikuxmiku Posts: 32member

    Quote:

    But by sticking to a resolution of 1,024 by 768, Apple would allow existing applications written for the first-generation iPad and iPad 2 to run natively on the device with no changes necessary.


     


    This is just ridiculous, "never change anything" is the new Apple motto, or what? I want 7" tablet. I prefer it to be iOS powered, but I want an excellent screen. So if some android tabled has superior screen to this iPad mini, I'm buying android.

  • Reply 7 of 83
    pokepoke Posts: 506member


    By the same logic, couldn't they get a retina display iPad mini by cutting the same sized piece from an iPhone 4 panel?

  • Reply 8 of 83
    johndoe98johndoe98 Posts: 278member


    Right, like we are going to see an iPad Mini that isn't Retina. Why haven't people caught on to the fact that Apple has embraced Retina screens as the way forward?

  • Reply 9 of 83
    johndoe98johndoe98 Posts: 278member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by poke View Post


    By the same logic, couldn't they get a retina display iPad mini by cutting the same sized piece from an iPhone 4 panel?



     


    Bingo.

  • Reply 10 of 83
    tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 43,388member
    johndoe98 wrote: »
    Right, like we are going to see an iPad Mini that isn't Retina? Why haven't people caught on to the fact that Apple has embraced Retina screens as the way forward?

    Probably because they've held off on it before.
  • Reply 11 of 83
    johndoe98johndoe98 Posts: 278member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post





    Probably because they've held off on it before.


     


    What recently designed/re-designed Apple product hasn't been Retina?

  • Reply 12 of 83
    tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 43,388member
    johndoe98 wrote: »
    What recently designed/re-designed Apple product hasn't been Retina?

    The iPad 2 wasn't retina, despite everyone assuming it would be.

    The next iMac doesn't look like it's going to be Retina either. The existence thereof is not proof thereof. Apple will do retina displays when they're good and ready.
  • Reply 13 of 83
    delreyjonesdelreyjones Posts: 335member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by johndoe98 View Post


    Right, like we are going to see an iPad Mini that isn't Retina? Why haven't people caught on to the fact that Apple has embraced Retina screens as the way forward?



     


    Retina is great and it's clearly here today at the high end.  But it's not written in stone, is it, that Apple can't offer a slightly more economical product with a bit less resolution?  I still use my iPhone 3GS and the screen still looks high quality to me, even though it's obviously a step down from Retina.  Mind you, I'm not saying for sure the iPad Mini will have this lower res screen, but it sounds plausible to me.  If Apple is serious about coming in at a competitive price with high margins, this lower res screen might indeed be part of the solution.

  • Reply 14 of 83
    johndoe98johndoe98 Posts: 278member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post





    The iPad 2 wasn't retina, despite everyone assuming it would be.

    The next iMac doesn't look like it's going to be Retina either. The existence thereof is not proof thereof. Apple will do retina displays when they're good and ready.


     


    The iPad 2 isn't the recent design of the iPad, the iPad 3 is. As for your speculation of the iMac... I think that'll be an interesting one to watch for. I think it could go either way. Many here, including you, were rather incredulous a RMBP would be possible, yet it appeared despite the lack of evidence it was possible to manufacture the screens for them, nor was there any evidence the GPUs could handle the needed resolutions. Thoseare certainly legitimate concerns. Be that as it may, for my part, I think the fact there was no bump to the iMacs when they bumped the Mac Pros and MBA and cMBPs suggests something is up. However, given the reports of lag on the RMBP (which isn't a problem on my particular unit), I could see Apple waiting for Haswell to release a Retina iMac.

  • Reply 15 of 83
    tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 43,388member
    [quote name="johndoe98" url="/t/151091/ipad-mini-predicted-to-use-same-display-tech-as-apples-iphone-3gs#post_2140365"]The iPad 2 isn't the recent design of the iPad, the iPad 3 is.[/QUOTE]

    You've missed the point: it's post-retina.

    [QUOTE]…nor was there any evidence the GPUs could handle the needed resolutions.[/QUOTE]

    Did people doubt that? I didn't doubt that. I [I]sort of[/I] doubt what's needed for a 27" resolution, but we've seen great things from ATI's Eyefinity. Though it seems they've moved back to nVidia.
  • Reply 16 of 83
    johndoe98johndoe98 Posts: 278member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by delreyjones View Post


     


    Retina is great and it's clearly here today at the high end.  But it's not written in stone, is it, that Apple can't offer a slightly more economical product with a bit less resolution?  I still use my iPhone 3GS and the screen still looks high quality to me, even though it's obviously a step down from Retina.  Mind you, I'm not saying for sure the iPad Mini will have this lower res screen, but it sounds plausible to me.  If Apple is serious about coming in at a competitive price with high margins, this lower res screen might indeed be part of the solution.



     


    Well you are free to believe that if you like. Everything I've read and seen from Apple and their production philosophy indicates to me they are interested in designing the best possible products they can, and considerations of price and fashion trends are not primary amongst their concerns (the products have always sold themselves). Is a 7" iPad with Retina more desirable than a non-retina version? Yes. Can they produce one? Yes, easily so given the successful attempts with the iPhone and iPad. So if they are designing a new and improved iPod touch, or a new and trimmed down iPad, I can't see them not putting in a Retina screen unless they are driven by money and competition to produce those products. But as I said, those considerations don't seem to me, to move Apple. Not now, and not in the past. I don't see why suddenly they would change their ethos.

  • Reply 17 of 83
    johndoe98johndoe98 Posts: 278member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post



    You've missed the point: it's post-retina.


    Did people doubt that? I didn't doubt that. I sort of doubt what's needed for a 27" resolution, but we've seen great things from ATI's Eyefinity. Though it seems they've moved back to nVidia.


     


    What does post-retina mean? I honestly don't follow you. It seems to me, and what I understand from Apple's trend, that non-retina is inferior, full-stop.


     


    And no, you never said anything, so far as I can recall, regarding the GPU. I certainly didn't mean to lump you into that category so if my post was misleading and unfair to you, sorry for the misdirection. I did see it said by others though since the offical Nvidia webpages, as well as the Intel spec sheets, indicated that 2880x1800 was higher than the max supported resolutions, at the time.

  • Reply 18 of 83
    apple ][apple ][ Posts: 9,233member


    Apple could offer two 7" tablets, just like they have two 9.7" tablets at the moment. One is retina, and will cost more, and the other non-retina will be cheaper. 

  • Reply 19 of 83
    johndoe98johndoe98 Posts: 278member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Apple ][ View Post


    Apple could offer two 7" tablets, just like they have two 9.7" tablets at the moment. One is retina, and will cost more, and the other non-retina will be cheaper. 



     


    Anything is possible. But has Apple ever introduced one product in such a manner? (Adding 3G/GPS to an iPad doesn't strike me as analogous).

  • Reply 20 of 83
    delreyjonesdelreyjones Posts: 335member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by johndoe98 View Post


     


    ... Apple and their production philosophy indicates to me they are interested in designing the best possible products they can, and considerations of price and fashion trends are not primary ... don't seem to me, to move Apple. Not now, and not in the past. I don't see why suddenly they would change their ethos.



     


    Doesn't the Mac Mini contradict this argument?  Relatively cheap and relatively low-powered compare to the other Macs.


     


    Another important consideration I can imagine is production and supply. The answer to "how many has Apple sold" has frequently been "all of them", meaning they sold everything they made and for significant periods of time, demand exceeded supply.  I can see Apple forecasting sales of a gazillion iPad Minis this xmas season, and it could be their other high-end products already consume the lion's share of the available Retina screens.  In other words, if Apple already expects to sell all the Retina screens the factories can produce this holiday season, why in the world would they introduce another Retina product this season?

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