Samsung and LG Reportedly Quality Testing 'Retina' iPad Display Production for Apple
Rumors of Apple bumping the iPad up to a higher-resolution display received a new boost today with The Korea Times reporting that Apple has been working with Samsung and LG on new LCD technology to produce displays with a resolution 2048x1536, double that of the existing iPad in each dimension.
The report notes that Samsung and LG are currently in the testing process for the new displays, which would push the resolution up over 260 pixels per inch, below that of the iPhone 4 and fourth-generation iPod touch, but perhaps high enough for Apple to still consider it a "Retina" resolution given the somewhat further distance at which the iPad is typically viewed.
By limiting the resolution increase to a doubling of the current displays, Apple will provide an easy transition for developers, whose existing content can be displayed via pixel doubling to appear naturally on the higher-resolution display until it can be upgraded to the higher resolution. A similar system was used when the iPhone and iPod touch transitioned to double-resolution displays to minimize disruption to the app ecosystem of the platform.
Apple has started quality testing Samsung and LG's LCDs at one of its laboratories in China. Samsung and LG were required to produce screens with better picture quality and density, according to sources, who anticipate the testing process will be completed during the third quarter.
"Apple's upcoming iPad 3 will feature an improved display to support quad extended graphics (QXGA), a display resolution of 2048×1536 pixels with a 4:3 aspect ratio to provide full high definition (HD) viewing experience," said a source close to the talks.
"Apple has traditionally preferred to use the same providers of the same parts for the same device, even as they evolve to different versions. I don't see any fundamental change to that approach."
With the third quarter of the year already underway, quality testing on the new displays could be completed at any time if the report is correct, paving the way for either a rumored "iPad 2 Pro" to be sold alongside existing iPad 2 models or a full-fledged iPad 3, both of which have been the subject of rumors for a release later this year.