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iPad 2 successor possibly to hit stores as early as February

While this can be lumped squarely in the "unconfirmed" column, rumors have begun swirling about the possibility of Apple's next-generation tablet, the iPad 3, launching within the next "three to four months."

Anonymous sources in the supply chain are cited by DigiTimes saying that the parts and components for the iPad 3 are being delivered to OEM contractors while reducing deliveries for the iPad 2. 

"OEM production of iPad 2 will remain high at 14-15 million units in the fourth quarter of 2011 but decline to 4-5 million units in the first quarter of 2012, paving the way for the launch of the new iPads," DigiTimes writes.

The rumors are bolstered by further reports from a Chinese Commercial Times report that says Foxconn will begin production on the new models in January, and increasing production by February.

The aforementioned anonymous supply-chain sources say that anywhere from 9.5 to 9.8 million units of the iPad 3 will be produced in Q1 of 2012.

Another report from last week, this one from the L.A. Times, cited February as the target launch date, so the new timeframe isn't too far off. 

According to the Times, the iPad 3 will be similar to its predecessor, but will include Apple's retina display, doubling the resolution found on the current model.

The original iPad launched in April 2010. The iPad 2 launched in March 2011. If Apple's 11-month trend for next generation of its popular tablet continues, February 2012 would be the target.

With increased competition in the tablet market from the likes of Microsoft and additional Android offerings, Apple might be feeling a sense of urgency to stay ahead of the curve if it wants to hold on to its tablet market share.

Sources: DigiTimes, LA Times

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3 million pixels
By MrTeal on 12/12/2011 10:24:17 AM , Rating: 0
It's so sad that the new iPad looks like it's going to have a 2048x1536 display (plus battery, processor, etc, etc) for $500, but even finding a 1920x1200 monitor for $400 is tough, to say nothing of higher resolutions.

I would love to see a 2048x1536 4:3 22-24" monitor available for desktop use, but good luck finding one. 16:9 is a horrible aspect ratio for those of us who work on a computer all day using multiple monitors.

RE: 3 million pixels
By Denigrate on 12/12/2011 10:31:40 AM , Rating: 3
I guess you don't shop the many deal sites out there? You can find a 1920 x 1200 LCD display for around $200-250 most days. Are you talking about smaller LCDs?

If Apple really does double the resolution on the iPad3, it'll be something to talk about. I love the 1280 X 800 display on my Icer Iconia A500, but would love to see a crazy resolution like 2048 X 1536. Pixel density would be out of this world.

RE: 3 million pixels
By MrTeal on 12/12/2011 10:39:30 AM , Rating: 2
I never see them that cheap, unless they're a refurb or a TN. There's a few crappy TN panels from brands like Hannspree around the $250 mark, but that's definitely not something I'd want to stare at for 9 hours a day.

RE: 3 million pixels
RE: 3 million pixels
By Rukkian on 12/12/2011 12:14:55 PM , Rating: 2
That is not 1920x1200, it is the lower 1080P (1920x1080) that is all you really see anymore and which is bad for actual work.

RE: 3 million pixels
By Cheesew1z69 on 12/12/2011 12:29:47 PM , Rating: 2
RE: 3 million pixels
By Jedi2155 on 12/12/2011 12:57:57 PM , Rating: 2
That's still a TN based panel rather than an IPS or MVA screen.

RE: 3 million pixels
By Cheesew1z69 on 12/13/2011 6:00:30 PM , Rating: 3
Per the OP...

but even finding a 1920x1200 monitor for $400 is tough, to say nothing of higher resolutions.

And I posted link...299, much less than the 400 quoted.

RE: 3 million pixels
By BansheeX on 12/12/2011 2:02:13 PM , Rating: 4
First of all, a 10% difference in resolution is hardly the difference between usable and unusable. Most laptops are well below 1080p, does that make them impossible to work on?

Second of all, if people cling to this deviant aspect that is slightly taller than 16:9, then a powerpoint or recorded desktop is going to get cut off on a larger display or projector, because they don't make deviant aspects like 16:10 at those sizes.

Maybe someday they'll release a monitor double the res of 1080p and you resolution junkies will be satiated. Then again, maybe nothing is enough for you.

RE: 3 million pixels
By Solandri on 12/12/2011 4:49:57 PM , Rating: 5
Most android tablets are 16:10. 1280x800 is currently the most common high-tier Android tablet resolution.

16:10 is a better compromise (less wasted screen space) between widescreen movies (landscape mode) and 8.5x11 paper (portrait mode). 16:9 excels at movies but sucks for paper. 4:3 (iPad) excels at paper but sucks for movies.

Two 8.5"x11" pages (Word or Illustrator or PDF) opened side-by-side are 17"x11", or a 1.55 aspect ratio. The 1.6 aspect ratio of 16:10 fits this almost perfectly - just add a small gutter space between the two pages. The 1.78 aspect ratio of 16:9 is too wide, so you either have wasted space on the sides, or you have to scroll up and down. It's made even worse if you have menus and a taskbar taking up space along the top and bottom.

The sensors in DSLRs have a 1.5 aspect ratio (35mm film is 36mm x 24mm). Again, 16:10 fits this better (6.7% wasted space) than 16:9 (18.5% wasted space). (And before you say cameras should shoot in 16:9, the ideal aspect ratio for a camera is 1:1 because the image generated by the lens is a circle. Any deviation from 1:1 and you're wasting light being focused by the optics but not falling on the sensor. Even the 1.5 aspect ratio DSLRs don't achieve 1.5 by picking up extra light at the sides. They achieve it by throwing away light at the top and bottom.)

The extra 120 pixels is crucial if you're editing 16:9 HD home movies. Otherwise you're not viewing the movie at full native resolution, or your editing tools / movie time bar are covered up, or you need a second monitor.

Editing portrait mode photos on a 16:9 sucks if you don't have a monitor which can tilt 90 degrees. It sucks on a 16:10 too, but it sucks 11% less.

Until the latest 27" monitors were released (2560x1440), monitors larger than 1920x1200 were also all 16:10 (2560x1600). So it's the powerpoints made in 16:9 which get cut off on these larger displays.

16:9 makes sense for TVs because all you ever do is watch TV/movies on them. But 16:10 is better for monitors and displays where you have to interact with what's on the screen. Unless you like scrolling.

1920x1200 is better at just about everything than 1920x1080, except HDTV/movies and cost.

RE: 3 million pixels
By BansheeX on 12/13/11, Rating: 0
RE: 3 million pixels
By dawza on 12/14/2011 12:45:49 PM , Rating: 2
Let's forget about aspect ratio for a second and focus on what we all agree with-- which is the importance of resolution.

The issue is not so much that 16:9 has become the standard over 16:10 (for PC displays); the problem is that the shift in AR has almost inevitably comes at the cost of total pixels. There are exceptions, such as 1280x800-->1366x768, but in general, total pixel count has decreased as AR has increased: 1400x1050-->1440x900, 1600x1200-->1680x1050-->1600x900; 1920x1200-->1920x1080.

In cases where we got a slight increase in horizontal along with a modest decrease in vertical resolution, an argument can be made either way. However, when vertical resolution is straight-out cut, and particularly when this means that the previous standard becomes less popular/more expensive, I consider it unacceptable. I have not lumped 2560x1600 vs. 2560x1440 into the discussion because the former does not seem to have become less popular as a result of the latter; hopefully, this does not change.

Finally, I really hope we stop trying to defend 16:9 in the name of multimedia. PCs are productivity devices first and foremost, so please do not take away more rows in Excel and tell me that this is a good thing because now I can watch movies without black bars. I can live with black bars, or I can walk 10 steps and use my (gasp!) TV. On the other hand, I can only zoom out of Excel so much before I lose my eyesight (and before some wise-ass tells me to just buy a new monitor/laptop, try telling your corporate IT department that you want special treatment because you lost 8 rows in Excel-- and no, BYOM is not an option in most workplaces).

RE: 3 million pixels
By MrTeal on 12/12/2011 12:21:05 PM , Rating: 2
Well yeah, 1080p panels are a dime a dozen. That's the problem, getting 2 or 3 24" 16:9 panels across a desk requires a huge amount of real estate. Often for doing real work on a computer (productivity, coding, etc) having more vertical pixels is more helpful than having more horizontal pixels. 16:9 panels also don't work nearly as well when rotated to portrait, so even that becomes difficult.

That's my main point I guess. They can likely sell an iPad3 for $500 with a 10" 2048x1536 IPS screen. If you shop around you can find 22" 1080p IPS monitors for $200 to $250 (the one you linked is TN, btw). There should be no reason that it's not possible to make a reasonably priced 4:3 monitor with an IPS panel and decent resolution, other than the fact that the panel makers decided to standardize on widescreen TV resolutions. I use two 19" 1280x1024 monitors at work because they actually give me more height than a 24" 1080p panel. 5:4 is an awesome aspect ratio, and I'd love to upgrade to a larger display and higher resolution without needing so much horizontal desk space.

RE: 3 million pixels
By Wolfpup on 1/4/2012 5:44:05 PM , Rating: 2
I've bought two Dells years ago that were under $200, TN (but really good TN) and...well, really high quality.

RE: 3 million pixels
By Helbore on 12/12/2011 11:41:12 AM , Rating: 3
Does anyone actually need 2048x1536 on a ~10" display? That's nearly as high as the resolution on my 30" monitor and I've never felt like the display there was lacking in crispness.

RE: 3 million pixels
By FaceMaster on 12/12/2011 2:01:23 PM , Rating: 3
I'm perfectly happy with my 24" 1920x1200 monitor, but I'd never say no to a higher resolution panel. I think that some people miss the point of higher resolution displays ('Oh no! The text will be so small you won't be able to read it OOBLEOOBLEOOBLE'), when I'm thinking of it more as '4 pixels to what was previously every 1', making text much smoother and prettier.

All you have to do is to see one of the latest phones, then to imagine having that sort of clarity and definition extended to 30" monitor size. Once the DPI gets high enough we'll finally be able to do away with cleartype and text will finally look like it's meant to.

Oh and games should look pretty good as well.

RE: 3 million pixels
By BansheeX on 12/12/2011 2:07:22 PM , Rating: 5
Resolution increases beyond a certain point increase bandwidth and rendering overhead dramatically without much visible benefit.

RE: 3 million pixels
By FaceMaster on 12/18/2011 10:08:15 AM , Rating: 2
You're right- and if you asked my Dad where that cut-off point was, he'd say at Teletext in the 70's. Besides, who cares if text is made of 10 pixels instead of 50?

Personally I still see room for improvement, and I'm willing to suffer increased bandwidth and rendering overhead to get there.

RE: 3 million pixels
By Solandri on 12/12/2011 5:05:42 PM , Rating: 2
Does anyone actually need 2048x1536 on a ~10" display?

Sheet music looks terrible at 1024x768. It's difficult to distinguish a 16th note from an 8th note, or sometimes even an 8th note from a quarter note.

The problem is (1) Apple standardized on 1024x768, which was pretty much the best they could do at a decent price point at the time, but is low enough to be annoying (aforementioned sheet music problem). And (2) iOS' seemingly complete lack of a scaling model, leading to apps which are hard-coded for 1024x768. This requires a complete doubling of resolution to properly scale apps.

Android has this same problem to a lesser extent (why some phone apps don't work on tablets). In an age where computers can rescale graphics for things like icons and fonts an arbitrary amount on the fly in nanoseconds, this simply should not be a problem. Developers should be crafting their apps to be resolution-independent. Not hard-coding them for a specific resolution. This is something Windows 7 actually does (mostly) right - letting you scale icon and font size an arbitrary amount. The UI scales right along with it.

RE: 3 million pixels
By TakinYourPoints on 12/13/2011 4:47:59 AM , Rating: 2
You hold a tablet much closer to your face then a 30" monitor on your desktop. The closer to your eyes the display, the higher the pixel density should be in order to compensate. This is why you need high PPI with phones and tablets. It's also why the very low pixel density with a 60" HDTV is acceptable, you're sitting 8'-10' away from it, not 2'-3' away.

Higher density is great in any case. It eliminates the need for anti-aliased text since the pixels are so tiny that you get smooth curves anyway. A desktop monitor doesn't need to be >300ppi, but I sure as hell can't wait for them to get higher than the roughly 100ppi they're at now. It'll happen eventually, proper resolution independence (which neither Windows nor OS X have implemented yet) obviously needs to happen first.

RE: 3 million pixels
By tviceman on 12/12/2011 11:43:58 AM , Rating: 2
I want to know how a resolution that high on a display that small is going to be affordable and feasible. If it's "not that hard" or expensive to make, then why aren't there an abundance of 22-24" screens with that resolution? At 22", there are more 1680x1050 monitors than 1920x1080 on newegg...

Not saying the rumors aren't true, but I don't understand how it's currently feasible.

RE: 3 million pixels
By NellyFromMA on 12/12/2011 12:24:50 PM , Rating: 2
Just think of when you drop and break it :( I'm sure the replacement screen will fetch a nice price

RE: 3 million pixels
By dew111 on 12/12/2011 3:54:00 PM , Rating: 2
Ding ding ding ding ding...we have a winner! It's not affordable. Like silicon chips, as you build bigger panels with the same density of transistors, yield (the number of defect-free parts) goes down, and the cost of good parts skyrockets. Smart phone screens are small. Tablet screens are much bigger. This rumor has been alive (and ridiculous) for a long time. It was started by industry analysts who have very little technical knowledge. They latched onto one of Apple's marketing points and tried to extend it to their other products where it is completely infeasible and unnecessary.

Even if the panel were affordable, quadrupling the resolution would require a huge leap in processing power to make the display snappy and responsive. Apple isn't going to release a product with a UI that grinds to a halt any time you use multitouch. The iPad 3 may have a larger resolution display, but it will be at most on the order of 1280x960.

RE: 3 million pixels
By omnicronx on 12/12/2011 4:35:21 PM , Rating: 2
Even if the panel were affordable, quadrupling the resolution would require a huge leap in processing power to make the display snappy and responsive.
You are making assumptions. The GPU in the iPad 2 was essentially overpowered for the device, it would actually have absolutely no problem pushing the pixels in a non gaming environment in its full glory at those resolutions.

While gaming, you are once again falsely assuming that a)games won't be capped at a specific resolution, b)developers won't merely scale from a lower resolution (which they already do now). (it does not really even make sense to move go higher than 1024x768 right now as the vast majority of the iPad userbase will still be stuck on this resolution)

As for the lower resolution display, that was one of the the other reasons that many felt that the resolution in the iPad 2 would remain the same, and not receive any kind of bump. We knew that it a Retina like display was eventually coming, and continually adding on extra resolutions that dev's now have to support makes absolutely no sense for Apple and does not fit into their business model.

i.e Mark my words, either the iPad 3 will be a Retina like display, or its resolution will not change at all.

All of this said, a Retina display is now feasible in the iPad, it was not even a year ago. So this is not merely reiterating a previous rumour from the iPad 2, the rumors are being revisited because it now makes sense where it did not just a short time ago.

RE: 3 million pixels
By TakinYourPoints on 12/13/2011 4:55:39 AM , Rating: 2
Exactly. The GPU in the iPad 2 is still faster than the Tegra 3, and the PowerVR GPU in the next iPad should be even faster if it's anything like the quad-core version that is also going in the Vita. Certainly enough to drive a monitor of that resolution.

The issue isn't processing power, it is yields of good LCD panels. Yield numbers will get better but right now it's similar to a new die shrink for CPUs and GPUs. There's a period where things are shaky and finally get figured out. I'm curious to see if yield numbers put a constraint on supply of iPad 3s. If I'm not mistaken, lower than expected yields initially held back production of the iPhone 4 as well.

RE: 3 million pixels
By phattyboombatty on 12/12/2011 11:48:53 AM , Rating: 2
If the pixel density on the iPad 3 is the same as the iphone 4's retina display, then it would have a resolution of about 2530*1897.

RE: 3 million pixels
By hexxthalion on 12/12/2011 12:13:52 PM , Rating: 2
to achieve 'retina' effect it doesn't need the same ppi as iPhone, you're not holding iPad as close to your face as iPhone.

RE: 3 million pixels
By omnicronx on 12/12/2011 2:28:22 PM , Rating: 2
It's so sad that the new iPad looks like it's going to have a 2048x1536 display (plus battery, processor, etc, etc) for $500, but even finding a 1920x1200 monitor for $400 is tough, to say nothing of higher resolutions.
Its not sad, its just flat not feasible and in many cases, does not make sense.

First of all, there is a reason why Apple waited to make a 'Retina' display for the iPad, the yields are far too low, and will probably begin with less than 50% at the beginning of production. (i.e for each panel made, one will be garbage) Yield rates for larger screens are probably not even close to production quality levels.

Second, these are 11" displays, it will take sometime to make screens larger sizes cost effective. We are just not there yet, though production of smaller screens like those on the iPad will help push it to other consumer products if certain conditions are met.

Third (one of the conditions that must be met); No mainstream desktop OS truly supports resolution independence (Windows does not, and OSX has limited support). That means for the most part that as you increase the resolution on Windows/OSX, items and text will get smaller. This is a huge concern as readability becomes a problem, especially on smaller high resolution screens. iOS on the otherhand does support some form of resolution independence, i.e even when they bring the iPad 3 with double the resolution, everything on screen will remain the same size.
16:9 is a horrible aspect ratio for those of us who work on a computer all day using multiple monitors.
I disagree, and this comes from someone using dual 24" monitors all day. From a space perspective on smaller screens, 4:3 can make sense. From a 'how your eyes work perspective' on larger screens, widescreen makes far more sense.

Either way, there is clearly personal preference involved, but to make a blanket statement saying they are horrible for these kind of uses is nothing but your personal preference..

RE: 3 million pixels
By MrTeal on 12/12/2011 4:59:22 PM , Rating: 2
I'm not sure I agree with your points on the costs involved with the displays, but I'll admit I don't know enough about the LCD manufacturing process to say for certain. Making a 24" high resolution panel does't require any higher PPI count than current displays. QXGA in a 24" monitor would still only be 107PPI, which is right in the range of most current displays. It's not like you need super small pixels, just more of them. 27" 2560x1440 displays are available and have a higher pixel density. The driving electronics would require an update over 1080p to deal with the higher resolutions, but silicon exists that drives the 2560x1440 panels so I don't see why that should be a showstopper. The similar PPI on a 24" QXGA monitor to existing monitors also means that the lack of good resolution independence isn't a big issue.

I agree my assertion that 4:3 > 16:9 is personal preference, but then any of these things are. I think 16:9 is fine for many home users with a single monitor, but the generally in a multi-monitor setup you're often limited more by horizontal room than vertical. Since many things are formatted to be similar to 8.5x11, something like a page a a PDF is usually higher than it is wide. Full screen you either end up with bars on the side or so zoomed in that the text is needlessly large. You can always run two PDFs side by side windowed on a 16:9 to get a better utilization, but that's not an ideal solution in my mind. Win7 is nice with its ability to drag a document to the edge of a screen and dock it to half width, but it doesn't let you dock to the middle between monitors.

IMO, the only real benefit of 16:9 over 4:3 is in playing movies and TV shows. You can do things like move your start menu to the side of the screen, but with many programs you're often still stuck with large menus at the top of the window that can't be moved.

RE: 3 million pixels
By 3DoubleD on 12/13/2011 4:51:25 AM , Rating: 2
FYI, you can dock a window on the middle screen edges by using "windows key" + left/right arrows. Now, on a dual screen setup, you can dock 4 half screen windows!

I agree, though 4:3 FTW. I have a malfunctioning 20" 4:3 LCD that I've had in the corner of my office for months. I refuse to throw it away because I keep hoping I'll have the time (and luck) to fix it. Such a rare and valuable commodity.

"We shipped it on Saturday. Then on Sunday, we rested." -- Steve Jobs on the iPad launch

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