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Apple CEO Steve Jobs holding up the iPad.  (Source: NYDailyNews.com)
Next-gen device will be lighter, thinner, and sport a front-facing camera

The Wall Street Journal is reporting that a new version of Apple's iPad -- one with a faster processor and at least a front-facing camera -- is now being manufactured.

Despite earlier reports of improved resolution, the unnamed sources in the WSJ report fail to corroborate that rumor, saying that the new iPad will have a resolution similar to its first-generation cohort. "People familiar with the situation said Apple has had trouble improving the display technology, in part because of the iPad screen's larger size compared with the iPhone," WSJ reports.

However, the new device is allegedly lighter and thinner than the current iPad, will boast more memory, a more powerful GPU, and will sport at least a front-facing camera for video conferencing. 

Since its debut in last April, the iPad has reportedly moved 14.8 million units. The iPad 2 is expected to launch in the next few months, and will be available from both Verizon and AT&T at roughly the same price as the current model. Analysts Piper Jaffray & Co. predict Apple will move 27 million iPads this year, while others predict a number as high as 35 million units.  

Meanwhile, research firm IHS iSuppli believes that the iPad's market share could decline to less than 50% of the tablet market that by 2013.



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RE: Incremental additions
By Solandri on 2/9/2011 3:13:19 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
It makes little sense to change the resolution until they can come close to being a 'Retina' display. At this time the technology just is not here yet for the cost that is required.

Actually, I use my tablet PC to display sheet music. It's 12.1" 1400x1050 and acceptable for an entire page of music with all the little flags and dots easily visible. I've tried it at 1024x768 and it just doesn't cut it. The panel technology and price point have been here for a while now. My tablet was made in 2004. I don't want nor need a retina display, but something closer to 150 ppi would be nice.
quote:
Had they bumped it up only a little, then we would be sitting with several different iPad resolutions that developers would have to code for as one would think they would eventually do a full 4x pixel bump to put it in Retina territory. That would be a developer nightmare and would go against everything Apple has done in the past. (3 iPad resolutions in 2 years which is unacceptable)

I really don't understand this line of thinking. Resolution-independent formatting was licked back in the 1980s with WYSIWYG, Adobe Type 1 and True Type fonts, and bicubic interpolation of images. Ironically, it was Apple which really pushed the industry into this. Developers complaining about having to recode their app for multiple resolutions simply coded their app wrong in the first place, assuming a fixed resolution. You're supposed to code it with a target ppi in mind, and let your rendering engine take care of the scaling. Instead of coding your dialog box to be 200x100 pixels, you code it to be 2x1 inches. The OS then tells your app the screen is 100 ppi and scales it accordingly. The only parts which should be difficult to scale are the UI components, but the OS should be handling those, not the app.

I suspect the reason for a lack of resolution increase has more to do with the slow pace of improvement in the capability of low-power video chipsets. Most of the R&D on video goes into the high end 3D video cards. Low-power video is usually an afterthought.


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