A new report adds credibility to rumors that Apple may be gearing up to release a Retina-display-equipped iPad, potentially as early as this fall.
The Korea Times reports that Samsung and LG have both provided Apple with high-resolution LCD displays that are being quality tested at an Apple facility in China. The Times' anonymous sources tell the newspaper that the next iPad will retain the 9.7-inch display but quadruple its resolution.
``Apple's upcoming iPad 3 will feature an improved display to support quad extended graphics (QXGA), a display resolution of 2048 pixels by 1536 pixels with a 4:3 aspect ratio to provide full high definition (HD) viewing experience,'' a source said.
Sources expect the testing will be done "during the third quarter."
Multiple iPad, Multiple iPhone Rumors
Rumors that Apple would pack a Retina display into the iPad have been circulating since it coined the term when it announced the iPhone 4. As my PCWorld colleague, Jared Newman pointed out a few weeks ago, this particular rumor is starting to gather steam as more evidence piles up.
Most rumors point to the device being a new model in the iPad 2 line, not the next-generation tablet. Some have said the updated model will be called the "iPad 2 Plus" and be identical to the iPad 2, but have a higher resolution display. Earlier this month, sources told This is My Next that the new iPad will be marketed as a tablet for video and photo production professionals and be called the "iPad HD."
Apple planning to sell multiple iPad models at the same time makes sense, especially when you combine it with other rumors that it may sell the iPhone 3GS along with the iPhone 4 and 4S/5 this fall. Apple's new strategy could be to provide a variety of hardware for consumers with different needs (or at least to appeal to different pocketbooks).
It's also worth mentioning that the reported display testing may be good news for Samsung, which currently provides LCDs and chips for Apple's tablet. Reports recently came in that Apple may be shifting its chip manufacturing to TSMC from Samsung, in light of nasty patent suits the company has with Apple. Apparently Apple can't completely cut the Korean company out of its supplier list.