First thing’s first: this report is as sketchy as it comes, and probably has no validity whatsoever. We still think the theory being presented, though, is interesting enough to discuss.With that out of the way, a Chinese newspaper is claiming that Apple will launch a new iPad later this summer, and far from being the seven-incher everyone has been expecting, it will actually be a 10-inch model that will fix everything that was wrong with the new iPad: mainly, the heft and thickness.
Here’s the deal. While Apple successfully managed to install a Retina display and LTE in the new iPad, the only way they were able to do this was to increase the width of the device, making the new iPad thicker, heavier and slower to charge than the iPad 2.
According to rumor, the reason Apple was forced to make this design compromise was because they were depending on Sharp’s IGZO technology to reduce the power requirements of the iPad’s LCD display. Sharp’s IGZO technology essentially makes it easier and more power efficient for light to shine through an LCD display, which would have mitigated the greater power requirements of quadrupling the iPad’s number of pixels.
Unfortunately for Apple, Sharp couldn’t ramp up IGZO production to scale in time for the new iPad, so Cupertino was forced to make the third-gen device thicker than its predecessor.
What Apple Daily and Digitimes are suggesting now is that Sharp has since gotten its IGZO production up to speed, which means Apple can release the third-gen iPad that they originally wanted to: a device that is as slim and light as the iPad 2.
It’s an interesting theory, but we really doubt Apple is going to switch form factors on the new iPad halfway through a generation. For better or worse, Apple had to embrace a thicker design for the new iPad. It’s done. Better to just save IGZO displays for the iPad 4 than risk pissing off all the customers who bought a new iPad shortly after launch.