A Thinner iPad 3 With Retina Display Is Coming Next Year, Here’s The Proof


More Reports That The iPad 3 Is Getting a Retina Display (Photo by MDrX - http://flic.kr/p/93DjRY)
More Reports That The iPad 3 Is Getting a Retina Display (Photo by MDrX - http://flic.kr/p/93DjRY)

For months now, we’ve all read reports Apple’s iPad 3 will feature a Retina Display. Now we’re seeing proof pop up that an iPad 3 with a 2048×1536 display is already being tested and manufactured. But is a higher resolution screen really likely in with a device touted as slimmer than the iPad 2?

“It’s happening,” DisplaySearch hardware analyst Richard Shim tells CNET. Samsung, Sharp and LGD are already at work companies producing high resolution Retina Display panels for the iPad 3.

The confirmation comes amid reports of an iPad 3 device codenamed “J2” appearing in a recent version of iOS 5. Coming together, it seems certain Apple’s already working on building the elusive Retina Display iPad 3, and despite earlier reports, this iPad would be even thinner than its predecessor.

But how? According to previous reports, a 2048×1536 Retina Display in the iPad 3 would require two LED backlights instead of the current single backlight, which would in turn increase the iPad 3’s thickness by 8%. However, suppliers have gotten around that problem by producing a display that uses just one light bar, but combines two LED chips instead of one. The change would permit both a thinner design but also the clearer Retina Display perfect for video and other graphic apps.

The iPad is overdue for an upgrade to a Retina Display, having skipped out on this generation despite the iPhone 4’s pixel upgrade in summer of 2010. The addition of a high-density Retina Display to the iPad would help further distinguish the two devices. The iPhone would be seen as your on-the-go device, able to make calls and snap wonderful photos, while the iPad would be mainly a consumption device, offering the viewer the perfect mobile device for photos, video and other media on as rich, colorful and realistic a display as possible.

But is a Retina Display a selling point for everyone? For some iPad owners like me who prefer flinging birds over watching HD video, or read emails over editing pixels on the screen, a Retina Display may not be a selling point. It may be time to offer an iPad Pro for the creators and a regular iPad (perhaps lower priced) for the rest of us, which might help Apple also compete with Amazon’s low-priced $199 Kindle.

The choice of the J2 – described as an “amped-up” version of an earlier “J1” design — appears to move Apple closer to unveiling the iPad 3 sometime later in 2012.

But when? Although some reports suggest the first-half of 2012, it may be better to emulate the iPhone 4S launch, putting some distance between the holidays and providing the summer period as the perfect time to launch a device without distraction. Indeed, such a plan may already be in the works. Apple’s next iPhone could be ready by June 2012, timed perfectly for an iPad 3 launch. My only hope is that we don’t repeat the iPhone 5 hurry up and wait snafu which caused so many PR black eyes.

  • bplano

    Will it have 90-hour battery life…? :D

  • jameswest77

    nope 900 hour !

  • haineux

    Zero “Proof.” Not surprised. Dudes, you don’t have to exaggerate your headlines so darn much.

  • zeiche

    I wish there were repercussions for reporting rumors that aren’t true. CoM had one chance to get the iPad retina screen story right and they blew it right they found out about the existence of the new screens.

    Oh, wait. There are punishments for lying to your readers. You lose their trust.

  • LeCorsaire

    I don’t think this type of article is helpful or even interesting any more.  It makes potential customers disappointed if they believed such over-hyped rumors, and it is hurting Apple’s business, as we’ve already seen during last quarter.  I really hope CoM will stop writing/copying things like this.

  • prof_peabody

    I’m a bit disappointed.  I was hoping that the next iPad might use that technology they recently patented with the OLED backlight.  Those displays would not only be thinner, they would use far less battery than the LED does.  

    Also, please stop flogging the extremely unlikely scenario of an iPhone next June, there wasn’t any “snafu” this year except in the press. They simply moved the release date of their most popular product, to the most popular and convenient time of year to release it.

  • Jen

    Terrible article. No proof, just another ‘analyst’ telling someone’s friend’s aunt’s cousine’s, father’s doctor’s golf buddy.

    I hate link bait articles.

  • fluffballjo

    Rumour site for a reason…live with it.

  • FriarNurgle

    I’ll wait till it’s over 9000!!!!!

  • zeiche

    From CoM’s About page: “Cult of Mac is a daily news website that follows everything Apple.” Where does it say this is a rumor site? stupidapplerumors.com is a rumor site.

  • crateish

    Rumors aside, iPad 3 will be my first iPad. Can’t bear the screens of 1 and 2 next to my iPhone 4.

  • Mary

    What a bunch of CRAP.  You call this journalism?  What a misleading title.  Never visiting again.  :D!

  • jameswest77

    ill wait another ten years then it will be a super light display and solar powered probably with integrated free facetime calling over 6 G networks.

  • jameswest77

    rumor has it.

  • jameswest77

    im waiting more for iPad 10 or 11 then i guess it will be a lot better. (and also IPhone 12 )
    or no maybe iPad 15 should be the best one to buy.

  • MacGoo

    Ed, you’re not on the ball today. This is hardly a “retina” display, at only ~264 ppi. Higher res, definitely, but not above the 300 ppi the human eye can perceive.

    Also, of COURSE Apple is testing such a device. But making the leap to assuming this will be in the iPad 3 is just as silly ever – without PRODUCTION samples, your article is just so much link bait. An analyst saying so is proof? If you’re falling for that, I’ve got some beachfront property I’d like to show you…

  • Chris

    actually you’re never going to hold your iPad at the same distance as your iPhone, so 264 ppi would still be seen as a ‘retina’ resolution

  • David Shanahan

    Oh dear no, we certainly wouldn’t want any more PR black eyes! If we had any idea what the author was talking about… What black eyes? Is he referring to Apple’s PR or someone else’s? Because the phone ended up being called a 4S instead of a 5? That’s selling like hot cakes? The only black eyes are those sported by writers who claimed it would be the 5 and would have a radically new “teardrop” shape, etc. Apple and the rest of us are fine thank you very much.

  • MacGoo

    Nice marketing lingo there.

  • Guest

    Heh, yeah it’s a possibility. Maybe we’ll even get an iPhone with bigger screen one day and it’s also possible that aliens will make contact tomorrow, money will fall from the sky and Jesus himself will officially unveil the new iPad. It can all happen so why not iPad with a better display ? And to prove it I’ll write down all of that BS right now.

  • Bpcarroll22

    It’s true. Just because you don’t want to admit that you’re wrong doesn’t make it “marketing lingo.” And who says “lingo” anymore? Are you 80?

  • Bpcarroll22

    It’s true. Just because you don’t want to admit that you’re wrong doesn’t make it “marketing lingo.” And who says “lingo” anymore? Are you 80?

  • John Lehmkuhl

    I also hate articles like this and would expect CoM to raise above such infantile moves. If nothing you’re hurting potential Christmas sales for Apple by making some decide to wait…. that’s great if you’re not part of the Cult of Apple….

  • MacGoo

    The widely accepted print resolution at which the human eye can no longer discern individual pixels is 300dpi. The corresponding pixel density would be 300 PPI, with the current iPhone retina display clocking in at 326 PPI, and this proposed screen registering a PPI of 264. Here, read this: http://goo.gl/GFuu

    With the vast variation in eyesight, the multiple use-cases for the iPad (many of which do not have you holding it at arms length) and the fact that this display would not even come CLOSE to 300 PPI, I can conclude with certainty (as I have previously on several occasions) that this is NOT a “retina” display in the way that Apple previously defined it (definition here says nothing about “how you hold it”, because that wasn’t part of the original presentation: http://goo.gl/o1hL).

    Marketing speak, marketing lingo, marketing angle, marketing slang, marketing spin – take your pick. If you must qualify something in order to fit it into a previously established category (especially when the new product is of lower quality) then it is an angle. A spin. A sales pitch.

    If the best you can do to refute me is try to make me look old (which I’m not) then you may as well pack up your bags and go home. Thanks for playing.

  • Ipadfree

    Before the iPad 3 comes out guys get the iPad 2 for free. Just requires a little bit of work or about $30. Pretty easy


  • vistarox


  • Ronald Stepp

    I really hope they incorporate this:

  • António

    Dear John,
    I wonder if you are an Apple shareholder… If not, why are you so concerned with Apple Christmas sales?
    Well… maybe its time to realize that CoM is NOT really a CULT, OK?
    Just get a life because Apple charges you enough not to be such naive guy.

  • Cold_dead_fingers

    I’m an Apple shareholder……….and I don’t care. People will still buy iPad’s because iPad’s are the motherfucking shit. Errbody wants one under the tree for Christmas.

  • Mike Rathjen

    I’m confused, what’s the proof mentioned in the title? An analyst’s claim?

  • Cold_dead_fingers

    Actually, it is proof. It may not be conclusive proof, but proof nonetheless.

  • MacGoo

    Hmmm. I criticized Ed for being wrong. People replied back, saying the rough equivalent of “Nuh-uh. YOU are”. I replied back with a solid explanation of PPI and the reason why this display ISN’T a retina display. Unfortunately I made the egregious error of including links to support my position, and CoM comments with links need approval.

    And who does the approving? The article author I was refuting with the post. How very revealing. My comment is in limbo until he decides to approve it – I’m not holding out hope.

  • MacGoo

    It is no such thing. Speculation is just that: speculation. It might be an educated guess, but without hard evidence you cannot classify this as proof. Nice try.