Apple Rumoured To Be Planning High-Definition iPad

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Apple may be introducing a successor device to the iPad 2 with a higher-resolution display and slimmer body

Apple’s next iPad could feature a high-resolution screen along the lines of the company’s “Retina Display”, together with a slimmer body.

That rumour derives from two separate sources. On 11 July, Taiwanese publication DigiTimes paraphrased unnamed “industry sources” as claiming Apple will launch the next iPad either at the end of the third quarter or the beginning of the fourth quarter. The tablet “may be named iPad 2 plus and will be thinner than its predecessors yet with upgraded display.”

‘iPad HD’

A slimmer body could present a substantial engineering challenge, considering how the iPad 2 already boasts a 0.34-inch thickness and (based on third-party teardowns) tightly-packed internals.

The second report came from the tech blog This Is My Next, which also claimed Apple will launch an iPad later this year with a higher-resolution display.

“As hard as it might be to believe, the new tablet is said to sport a double resolution screen (2048 x 1536) and will be dubbed the ‘iPad HD’,” read the 7 July report, authored by Joshua Topolsky. “The idea behind the product is apparently that it will be a ‘pro’ device aimed at a higher end market … and will be introduced alongside something like an iPad version of Final Cut or Aperture.”

He suggested the tablet will be marketed as part of the iPad 2 line, not as a successor.

With the iPad 2 a solid marketplace success, the rumour mill has recently refocused its attentions on a possible sequel.

There is some evidence suggesting Apple’s next iPad could feature a higher-resolution display. In June, the blog TechUnwrapped posted screenshots of some extra-large images in iOS 5, the upcoming operating system for Apple mobile devices including the iPad.

iOS 5 on the way

“As I was going through the iOS SDK I came across some images in the new Twitter .framework. The resolution appears to be 1,536 x 2,048,” a tipster wrote the blog, accompanying it with the aforementioned screenshots to back up those findings. As the resolution of the iPad 2 stands at 1024 x 768, that new resolution would represent a substantial upgrade – one perhaps akin to the iPhone 4’s high-resolution “Retina Display”.

Apple plans on releasing iOS 5 sometime this fall, in the same timeframe as the rumoured launch of this next iPad. On 14 June, Reuters paraphrased Taiwan’s Economic Daily as saying the iPad 3 would launch in the fourth quarter with an “image resolution 5-6 times higher than the iPad 2”.

An iPad release later in 2011 would disrupt Apple’s still-nascent tablet release schedule, which seems to centre on a new launch roughly every year.

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