Retina display

iPad 3 Rumor: Apple to Hold "Strange" iPad Event Followed by March iPad 3 Launch

The Japanese website Macotakara claims Apple will not launch the iPad 3 in February as previously suggested. Instead blogger Danbo says Apple will hold a "strange" event this month followed by a product announcement and launch in March. Macotakara previously cited an Asian supplier and a source in the U.S. as saying Apple would announce the iPad 3 in February. Danbo's new report is more in line with other rumors that have suggested the iPad 3 will be released next month.

iPad 3

As for the "strange" event I can only guess Danbo is talking about a similar affair like Apple's iBooks announcement in New York. Perhaps Apple only wants to focus on its next generation iPad in March, instead of boring us with Cards apps like they did at the Let’s Talk iPhone event last year.

iPad 3 Rumors: Case Designer Says iPad 3 to be Thinner, Not Thicker

The iPad 3 rumors are starting to contradict themselves like the iPhone 5 rumors did last year. Cult of Mac cited a " major accessory manufacturer" who said the next generation iPad will be thinner, not thicker as previously reported.

iPad 2S side view

This contradicts many previous claims that the iPad 3 will be thicker due to the new Retina Display.

"While Apple’s predilection for increasingly thinner devices with every generation is well known, the most recent report coming from CES has the iPad 3”s casing pegged as marginally thicker than the iPad 2”s due to the increased demands of the Retina Display, which requires thicker illumination. Our report contradicts that most recent report."

iPad 3 Screen Could Feature Sharp IGZO Technology

News of Apple's move towards IGZO (indium gallium zinc oxide) technology in the iPhone 5 display is not new, however reports have surfaced that show Apple could be using IGZO in the next generation iPad. The current iPad uses an IPS (in-plane switching) display, which provides a large viewing angle.

Sharp IGZO diagram

As seen in the diagram above from Semiconductor Portal, one advantage of an IGZO display is improved electron mobility. This means display pixels can be smaller (higher resolution) and more light passes through the IGZO display from the backlight. This reduces the brightness level needed from the backlight and saves power.

iPad 3 Rumors: Apple to Release Two New iPads in 2012, No 7-Inch iPad! (Updated)

Contradicting their previous report that Apple is working on a 7.85-inch iPad, the DigiTimes writes that Apple will release a "complete iPad series targeting the entry-level, mid-range and high-end market" in 2012. The iPad 2 will be reduced to compete with the Amazon Kindle Fire, and the next-generation iPads will "focus on the mid-range and high-end segments," according to sources in the supply chain.

iPad 3

The new iPads will feature 9.7-inch screens, QXGA resolution (1,536x2,048 pixels) and the rumored dual OLED backlights we keep hearing so much about. The new "high-end version" of the iPad will feature an increased battery capacity of 14,000mAH compared to 6,500mAH used currently. Both new devices will use the quad-core A6 processor being manufactured by Samsung.

iPad 3 Ready For February Launch?

Production on the iPad 3 is moving along and the next generation device should be ready to launch in February, according to Citi analyst Richard Gardner. Gardner wrote that "several sources" have confirmed the iPad 3 will launch early next year.

iPad 3

The new 2048 x 1536 displays for the iPad 3 started shipping in November making earlier estimates for a release in March. The new iPad is rumored to be thicker to accommodate the new dual OLED backlights, and there may return of the curved profile we seen in the original iPad. The iPad 3 should also feature the new A6 chip which is currently being produced by Samsung.

iPad 3 Display Could Feature Sharp IGZO Tech

Sharp has often been cited as one of Apple's current display suppliers, however the importance of Sharp technology to the design of the iPad 3 may have been underestimated. LG Display and Samsung have also been providing displays to Apple for its devices, but if sources at AppleInsider are correct, it's Sharp that will soon take center stage.

iPad 3 Retina display Sharp IGZO

The report revolves around groundbreaking IGZO technology that is ready for mass production and provides Apple with an alternative to the current IPS LCD display used in the iPad and iPad 2. The advantage of IPS is its wide viewing angle, but Apple is always on the lookout for lighter, more efficient components for its designs.

Production Starts For iPad 3 Display

DisplaySearch analyst Richard Shim says production on the 2048 x 1532 iPad 3 panels has begun. "It's happening! Panel production has started [for the next-generation iPad]. There's three suppliers," Shim told CNET.

iPad 2 side view

Early reports revealed Apple has already received one million displays for the iPad 3. If true, this puts the next generation iPad on course to be released as early as March 2012 like earlier rumors have suggested.

"It takes a couple of weeks for the production to go to the ODMs (the manufacturers). Then the manufacturer puts them in the housing. Then, that goes off to shipment. We could start seeing finished devices produced in December. And then being ready to be shipped in January. With volumes gearing up in February and March," Shim said.

iPad 3 Retina Displays Have Already Shipped

If reports originating from parts suppliers are to be believed, Apple has already received one million 2048 x 1536 displays for the next generation iPad. LG Display, Samsung and Sharp are said to be working on an order of two million more display units for delivery this month.

iPad 3 retina display shipping

The iPad 3 Retina display doubles display resolution in each direction on the 9.7-inch touch screen to 264 pixels per inch (ppi). Although the iPhone 4 Retina display comes in at 326 ppi, the smartphone is normally held closer to the eyes, requiring more resolution to eliminate the appearance of pixels. With four times the number of individual pixels the iPad 3 display will require more processing and battery power, possibly leading to a slightly thicker iPad 3.

iPad 3 Could Feature Dual OLED Backlights

Apple is looking to improve display technology on its next generation iPad, and we're not just talking about a Retina display resolution. A patent filed by Apple in the first half of 2010 reveals designs for dual OLED backlights, as reported by Patently Apple. The diagram below shows a cross section of the OLED backlight layers.

iPad 3 dual OLED display backlight patent

Part of what makes this technology so impressive is its simplicity. Current LCD displays have multiple layers requiring more thickness, and as has been seen in the past on the iPad and iPhone, they can be prone to manufacturing problems. Light leaks and yellow discoloration have been reported on some defective units.

Apple to Launch New Thinner iPad 2 in March, Not the iPad 3?

Time to stock up on your grains of salt, and strap yourself in for a long ride of iPad 3 and iPad 2S rumors. According to the DigiTimes, Apple is planning on launching a new thinner iPad 2 in March, not the iPad 3. The next generation iPad is currently rumored to be suffering from manufacturing problems that will push its release to Q3 of 2012. The iPad 3's rumored 2048 x 1536 Retina display is reportedly proving difficult for Samsung and LG Display to produce, and is the cause for the delay.

iPad 2S

Analysts are also predicting Apple will release an "iPad mini" in 2012. The lower entry-level iPad could feature a 7-inch display with the same resolution as the iPad 2.

These are basically the same iPhone 5 and 4S rumors we heard in back August. Analysts and tech bloggers claimed there would be a newly designed iPhone 5 and a low priced iPhone 4S on the market in October. However, they were supposed to be released at the same time, not months apart.

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