iPad mini/Air Central

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    Posted: 04 July 2012 11:45 AM #31

    I don’t understand the technology enough to determine how true this might be, but I read someone (Gruber?) speculating that Apple could simply cut out a larger part from the exact same “raw” sheets of Retina touch screens that are manufactured for the iPhone. Now he was referring to the 4” iPhone in this thought exercise, but what if the same idea could be applied to a 7” screen?

    Instead of cutting out 2” x 3” screens, they’d cut out 4” x 6” screens. Same ppi, same aspect ratio, but 1920x1280 instead of 960x640. Does anyone know if that’s how it works?

    The retina iPad display & touchscreen costs $127 according to iSuppli. The 3.5” iPhone/iPod screen costs $37, so maybe $90 for a 7” retina screen? That’s $53 more than iPod touch, so $299 should cover the cost of the screen along with the larger battery & chassis. The 4G LTE & memory options would easily bring the ASP high enough to match the margins of the iPad family.

    A 7.85? iPad that runs at 1024 x 768 (163 ppi) would be inferior to the Nexus 7’s 1280 x 800 (216 ppi). Apple doesn’t do inferior. They charge a premium price and give you a premium product. $100 buys you a better screen, an extra camera and a much better UI and ecosystem.

         
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    Posted: 04 July 2012 12:01 PM #32

    Drew Bear - 04 July 2012 02:45 PM

    I don’t understand the technology enough to determine how true this might be, but I read someone (Gruber?) speculating that Apple could simply cut out a larger part from the exact same “raw” sheets of Retina touch screens that are manufactured for the iPhone. Now he was referring to the 4” iPhone in this thought exercise, but what if the same idea could be applied to a 7” screen?

    Instead of cutting out 2” x 3” screens, they’d cut out 4” x 6” screens. Same ppi, same aspect ratio, but 1920x1280 instead of 960x640. Does anyone know if that’s how it works?

    The retina iPad display & touchscreen costs $127 according to iSuppli. The 3.5” iPhone/iPod screen costs $37, so maybe $90 for a 7” retina screen? That’s $53 more than iPod touch, so $299 should cover the cost of the screen along with the larger battery & chassis. The 4G LTE & memory options would easily bring the ASP high enough to match the margins of the iPad family.

    A 7.85? iPad that runs at 1024 x 768 (163 ppi) would be inferior to the Nexus 7’s 1280 x 800 (216 ppi). Apple doesn’t do inferior. They charge a premium price and give you a premium product. $100 buys you a better screen, an extra camera and a much better UI and ecosystem.

    While you could definitely use the same sheet as the iPhone which is using an LTPS we also have the iPad which is using standard A-Si and we now have a 3rd option which is Sharp’s new IGZO technology.  LTPS and IGZO have much higher electron mobility compared to A-Si.  The current iPad screen is pretty close to the limits of physics of what can be done with A-Si.  LTPS is more expensive so is not an ideal candidate for a lower cost device so that leads many to expect IGZO, Apple invested over 1B in the retooling of the Sharp Plant and Sharp back in April said they were producing screens.  I doubt Apple would let someone else use the screens so they are coming to an Apple devices soon.  Last month Foxconn committed to 50% of the production of Sharp’s gen 10 plant.  That is 72K units of glass .

    As far as PPI Sharp showed a 6” IGZO screen at SID with 2560x1600 so I would expect something which Apple can call a retina display. Here is a good overview of the key backplane technologies

    [ Edited: 04 July 2012 12:11 PM by pats ]      
  • Posted: 04 July 2012 12:10 PM #33

    adamthompson32 - 04 July 2012 06:38 AM
    dduck - 04 July 2012 03:45 AM

    I think that the new touch screen technology makes a smaller iPad feasible. That might very well be why they haven’t made one yet. The new in-cell tech makes for better and more precise touch detection, and so effectively “sands you fingertips to a point” :D

    Touch has been great for iPhone for years. No need for new touch tech to make a smaller iPad good for touch.

    You need better accuracy if you are making the UI elements physically smaller. Say, by running iPad programs on a physically smaller screen.

         
  • Posted: 04 July 2012 12:18 PM #34

    dduck - 04 July 2012 03:10 PM

    You need better accuracy if you are making the UI elements physically smaller. Say, by running iPad programs on a physically smaller screen.

    Even with better accuracy, it is still a terrible idea—better accuracy does not make fingers get smaller, better accuracy does not improve people’s fine motor control, better accuracy does not make my eyes higher resolution…

         
  • Posted: 04 July 2012 12:20 PM #35

    You know, there’s yet another reason for Apple to this which no one has mentioned yet: use their volume & buying power to control the world’s supply of the best screen technology for this, and choke out competitor’s ability to manufacture comparable product…

         
  • Posted: 04 July 2012 12:56 PM #36

    Wouldnt it make sense for Apple to start the rumors now to freeze anyone thinking of getting a Nexus, Fire, or whatever other junk that is out there?? I wasn?t a believer in this but think it is a good way to reenergize the iPod line.? However I would bet apple will keep one memory configuration of the current iPod touch in the market.

         
  • Posted: 04 July 2012 01:20 PM #37

    greedyn00b - 04 July 2012 03:18 PM
    dduck - 04 July 2012 03:10 PM

    You need better accuracy if you are making the UI elements physically smaller. Say, by running iPad programs on a physically smaller screen.

    Even with better accuracy, it is still a terrible idea—better accuracy does not make fingers get smaller, better accuracy does not improve people’s fine motor control, better accuracy does not make my eyes higher resolution…

    Obviously something aking to Fitt’s is at work here. I agree it would not be perfect. The question is what works best: 1) iPhone apps on a physically larger screen, 2) iPad apps on a physically smaller screen, or 3) a third screen size.

    Knowing Apple they will release 2) if it works well, even if not perfect, but will go for 3 if they think it’s an entirely new use case. The only way to be sure is really to do proper experiments, which I’m sure they do.

         
  • Posted: 04 July 2012 01:32 PM #38

    dduck - 04 July 2012 04:20 PM

    Obviously something aking to Fitt’s is at work here. I agree it would not be perfect. The question is what works best: 1) iPhone apps on a physically larger screen, 2) iPad apps on a physically smaller screen, or 3) a third screen size.

    Knowing Apple they will release 2) if it works well, even if not perfect, but will go for 3 if they think it’s an entirely new use case. The only way to be sure is really to do proper experiments, which I’m sure they do.

    I don’t need to experiment to know that iOS controls would suck horribly at substantially smaller sizes, nor that body text will become illegible to many people—they’re already pushing it for many people on both issues. (Think about it—if they were usable at smaller sizes, they’d already be smaller, to allow more onscreen on the current devices, to provide richer functionality. Apple did all the experiments, and they’re the size they are because that’s the size they need to be.)

    I also know that Apple will not introduce a slightly smaller iPad—they like clear distinctions between products—thus any new form factor will certainly be less than 8 inches, my guess is actually 7 at the very most, probably closer to 6.5.

         
  • Posted: 04 July 2012 04:14 PM #40

    From Gruber for iPad mini display….

    Here?s the logic behind such a display. Displays aren?t manufactured at their finished size; rather, they?re made on big sheets, and then cut to size. I believe the iPad Mini (or whatever it?s going to be called) uses the same display as the iPhone 3GS. So instead of cutting these sheets into 3.5-inch 480???320 displays for the iPhone 3GS, they?ll cut them into 7.85-inch 1024???768 displays for the smaller iPad. Same exact display technology, though ? display technology that Apple has been producing at scale ever since the original iPhone five years ago. These are displays Apple knows they can produce efficiently and in enormous quantities. All they have to do is cut them into bigger pieces.

    And then for developers, the iPad Mini acts just like an iPad 1 or 2: same number of pixels, just a little smaller. It?s not a new target.

         
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    Posted: 04 July 2012 05:37 PM #41

    Gruber posted a few times about the 7” iOS device today, repeating some material he originally posted several weeks ago. He seems to still think Apple will release the 7.85” device with non-Retina resolution.

         
  • Posted: 04 July 2012 06:04 PM #42

    Gruber and others are suggesting 7.85” and 1024x768, but wouldn’t 7” and 960x640 be more sensible?

    1. It allows iphone 4/4S apps (960x640 res) to duplicate perfectly. Scaling iphone 4/4S apps up to 1024x768 might create more pixelation.

    2. Trying to scale iPad apps down to the smaller screen runs into small fingers problems. So just creating a miniature iPad 1 or 2 (1024x768) doesn’t seem sensible. It seems that the iphone apps would be the driver.

    3. It more clearly differentiates the product from the full size iPad, encouraging people to buy both iPad mini and iPad regular, instead of choosing between them.

    4. 7” is 22% less screen area than 7.85”. Presumably screen cost scales with screen area, so it would be much cheaper to produce. I don’t see why 7.85” would be better, on the whole, than 7” for the purpose it would be created for (highly portable content consumption including reading), so why incur the extra costs involved in the extra .85” diagonal.

    One more point: What apps would suitably port to iPad mini if the res were 1960x1280? iPhone apps wouldn’t benefit from the extra pixels, and ipad apps have the small fingers problem. So I don’t see how 1960x1280 on a 7 or 7.85” device would work.

    I know I’m not the first to point this out, but 7” over 7.85” seem so much more sensible. I’m wondering if I’m missing something…

    [ Edited: 04 July 2012 06:19 PM by gliderplane ]      
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    Posted: 04 July 2012 06:05 PM #43

    greedyn00b - 04 July 2012 02:45 PM

    Apple does not so much need an iPad Mini as they need an iPod Maxi

    Nooooo! Keep “Maxi” away from iPad/iPod!

    And not just because of the name.

    greedyn00b - 04 July 2012 02:45 PM

    One thing’s for sure, they will *not* just keep the original iPad 1024x768 resolution and stuff it into a 7” screen so that iPad software will not know the difference and not need to change, as someone suggested in this thread. Sorry, but that’s just a flat-out stupid idea—shrinking all the controls (and text) that much would be a usability nightmare, and Apple prefers to leave those to its competitors.

    People remember that Jobs critiqued the 7” tablet offerings as too small and the line about sanding down fingertips. But he also specifically criticized them for being smaller than half of the iPad display (he said 45%). Well, an iPad Mini at 7.85” would be 66% the area of an iPad display, and therefore not subject to the same critique. 66% is probably fine for a lot of people.

    The key is the aspect ratio. Almost no other tablet has the iPad’s 4:3 aspect ratio. Instead they have those stupid wide-screen ratios which are ok in lanscape, but not good in portrait. iPads are great in portrait and lanscape, and so will be iPad Minis. And those stupid widescreen tablets make diagonal comparisons false. 7” widescreen is tiny compared to 7.85” 4:3.

    At 1024x768 it would be a huge improvement over the first iPad and iPad 2 in pixel density—those blocky pixels were awful. And it would match the original iPhone pixel density, displays Apple has ridden down the cost curve for for 5 years and no problems sourcing in the supply chain. At 2048x1536 it would match the iPhone 4 pixel density, displays Apple has had 2 years so far in the supply chain.

    [edited to compare mini to iPad in area instead of diagonal dimension]

    [ Edited: 04 July 2012 07:56 PM by Apple II+ ]

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    Posted: 04 July 2012 06:22 PM #44

    The title of this thread says “nano” when a 7.85” iPad would more likely be a mini. A nano would be the iPod Touch. Wouldn’t surprise me if Apple shuffles the names some in the future.

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    The only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. — Steve Jobs

         
  • Posted: 04 July 2012 07:24 PM #45

    Apple II+ - 04 July 2012 09:05 PM
    greedyn00b - 04 July 2012 02:45 PM

    Apple does not so much need an iPad Mini as they need an iPod Maxi

    Nooooo! Keep “Maxi” away from iPad/iPod!

    And not just because of the name.

    greedyn00b - 04 July 2012 02:45 PM

    One thing’s for sure, they will *not* just keep the original iPad 1024x768 resolution and stuff it into a 7” screen so that iPad software will not know the difference and not need to change, as someone suggested in this thread. Sorry, but that’s just a flat-out stupid idea—shrinking all the controls (and text) that much would be a usability nightmare, and Apple prefers to leave those to its competitors.

    People remember that Jobs critiqued the 7” tablet offerings as too small and the line about sanding down fingertips. But he also specifically criticized them for being smaller than half of the iPad display. Well, an iPad Mini at 7.85” would be 81% of an iPad display, and therefore not subject to the same critique. 81% is probably fine for a lot of people.

    The key is the aspect ratio. Almost no other tablet has the iPad’s 4:3 aspect ratio. Instead they have those stupid wide-screen ratios which are ok in lanscape, but not good in portrait. iPads are great in portrait and lanscape, and so will be iPad Minis. And those stupid widescreen tablets make diagonal comparisons false. 7” widescreen is tiny compared to 7.85” 4:3.

    At 1024x768 it would be a huge improvement over the first iPad and iPad 2 in pixel density—those blocky pixels were awful. And it would match the original iPhone pixel density, displays Apple has ridden down the cost curve for for 5 years and no problems sourcing in the supply chain. At 2048x1536 it would match the iPhone 4 pixel density, displays Apple has had 2 years so far in the supply chain.

    Did anyone on Earth take SJ seriously with the comment about 7” being too small? That was sales, marketing, and biz strategy 101. If an iPhone and iPod Touch aren’t too small, a much bigger 7” iPad isn’t too small for people’s fingers.