Report: iPad 3 Retina Displays – Manufacturing Challenges Ahoy!

iPad 2 Black and White Models

CNET spoke to a source close to component suppliers in Asia. As expected, they say that the iPad 3 is likely to arrive around the first quarter of 2012, a trend already started with the iPad and iPad 2. The trouble, they say, comes with the screen. Apple wants a Retina display on the iPad 3, according to reports.

A Retina display makes sense on the iPad 3. Many suspected at first that it would be part of the iPad 2, but there was also speculation that Apple would hold off. This time, it seems like it’s a possibility, but there seem to be some manufacturing problems.

This is probably expected. The iPad has a 9.7-inch display, and getting it to have the high pixel density of the Retina display (like the one we’ve seen on the iPhone 4, iPhone 4S and current-gen iPod touch models.) is proving to be a challenge.

Still, the good news is that the iPad 3 display doesn’t have to be nearly as pixel dense as those smaller devices, which weigh in at 326 pixels per inch (PPI). The iPhone is ideally, according to someone’s idea, don’t ask us who, held about a foot from your eyes. The iPad is held a bit further, so the resolution may not have to be as high as one would initially imagine.

Here’s a portion of the report explaining the display on the iPad:

The closest that iPad display manufacturers like LG Display and Samsung can get 2048×1536 resolution display, according to the source. That’s a PPI of 264, twice the 132 PPI on the iPad 2.

But whether manufacturers can make them in volumes that Apple demands is the question. “They have production plans for 2,048×1,536 displays. Starting in November. But those are only plans at this point,” said the source, referring to LG and Samsung.

There it is. Manufacturers are having some problems getting the display at that high of a resolution and mass-producing at the rate needed. They also mention that it may be pretty darn bright:

The display is also expected to have a brightness of 550 nits. That’s pretty bright, as the typical laptop display panel tops out at about 350 nits.

Well, that’s quite the challenge, we imagine.


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