While rumors of a Retina display powered iPad 3 are certainly nothing new, there has been some debate about how it will affect the device’s final form.
Earlier reports have claimed that the iPad 3 will be slightly thicker, due to Apple insisting on dual LED light bars to handle the higher resolution.
A new report from Jeffries analyst Peter Misek, however, claims that the iPad 3 will actually be thinner, and that Apple has invested up to $1 billion in Sharp’s manufacturing facilities to produce a new design that’s thinner and consumes less power:
Also, we believe that Apple and Sharp together have a modified IGZO (indium, gallium, zinc) technology to achieve 330 dpi, which is sufficient for an HD display while not using IPS nor having to include dual-bar LED backlighting. In our view, this should lead to several design advantages, namely the device can be thinner, battery life should be longer, and the overall experience for users should be meaningfully improved.
While this report is unconfirmed at the moment, I wouldn’t be surprised if it were true – Apple commonly invests in facilities for their manufacturers, and it would be unlike Apple to accept a thicker iPad 3 unless there was no other good choice.
Whatever Apple decides to churn out, it’s likely that the next-gen iPad will launch early next year, in keeping with Apple’s typical iPad launch cycle.