Over the last couple of months, rumors have been pouring in about a potential third generation iPad hitting store shelves this coming fall– but they all turned to be just that: rumors. The news does not come as a shock, as releasing two generations of the tablet during the same year would have led to an outcry from iPad 2 buyers. But surprisingly, according to DigiTimes, the decision to push the release of the iPad 3 to 2012 was not driven by consumers, but by retina display issues.
Apple was originally set to launch its iPad 3 in the second half of 2011 with a supply volume of 1.5-2 million units in the third quarter and 5-6 million in the fourth quarter, but Apple’s supply chain partners have recently discovered that the related figures have all already been deleted, the sources pointed out. The sources believe that the yield rate of the 9.7-inch panel that feature resolution of 2,048 by 1,536 may be the major reason of the supply delay since such panels are mainly supplied by Japan-based Sharp with a high price and Apple’s other supply partners Samsung Electronics and LG Display are both unable to reach a good yield. Since Apple is unable to control a certain level of supply volume, the iPad 3 is unlikely to be mass produced as scheduled, the sources added.The companies lined up to produce the display, namely LG Display, Sharp and Samsung Electronics, have been working double shifts to churn out enough units for a fall launch, but eventually proved to be unable to produce enough units to satisfy initial orders from Apple. Apple plans to offer a new display with a resolution of 2048×1536 with the iPad 3, exactly four times as many pixels as the 1024×768 screen featured in the first and second generation iPad. While the pixel density of this new display will not be as high as the density used in the retina display featured in the iPhone 4, as it will ‘only’ offer a resolution of about 260 pixels per inch instead of 326, such a screen would still be an impressive feat of engineering: to put things in perspective, the resolution of the new 9.7-inch screen will be higher than the resolution used in devices such as high definition LCDs and Plasma televisions. Note that the new resolution wasn’t chosen by accident: the new screen will offer exactly twice as many columns and rows of pixels, to help developers adapt their apps for the new screen without difficulty. The exact same technique was used by Apple when it transitioned the iPhone to the retina display.