Production of the iPad 3 Retina Display Remains a Challenge
CMI has cut into the supply chain of iPad 2, which uses IPS panels, but the new Apple tablet is more demanding in terms of resolution, the sources said. The iPad 3 will feature a 9.7-inch panel with resolution of 2,048x1,536 compared to the iPad 2's 1,024x768.Chimei Innolux is presently believed to be a display supplier for the currently shipping iPad 2.
The iPad 3, however, is believed to carry a 2048x1536 high resolution display that is double the linear resolution of the current iPad 2 screen of 1024x768. We first wrote of the possibility earlier this year when it was discovered that a version of Apple's iBooks application for the iPad already contained the necessarily double resolution (x2) artwork. Apple similarly doubled the iPhone's resolution from 480x320 to 960x640 when they introduced the iPhone 4.
Chimei Innolux is not alone in having yield difficulties with the new display. Samsung and LG are also said to have run into challenges. A previous report even claimed that it was these poor display yields which pushed the iPad 3's launch to 2012.
As big a jump as a 9.7" Retina Display sounds like, there has already been at least one official announcement of this level of high resolution tablet display. Samsung demoed a 2560x1600 10.1" LCD back in May, though based on somewhat different technology.
The original iPad's display was said to be the most constrained part for Apple, resulting in delays in shipments. As a result, Apple is believed to have invested $3.7 billion in display manufacturers in order to lock up access to LCD production facilities. The production from the earliest of those factory investments (Toshiba) are said to ramping as early as late 2011, while Sharp's new factories were to begin producing displays in 2012. The timing could fit with the next generation iPad.