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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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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.

“So far we have not seen a single Android device that does not infringe on our patents." -- Microsoft General Counsel Brad Smith

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