iPad 3 in Pre-production: 2048x1536 Display

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Apple is working with suppliers in Asia to build pre-production components for the iPad 3, including a 9.7-inch, 2048 x 1536 pixel display. Apple has already ordered parts for delivery in the calendar 4th quarter.

One component supplier said that Apple has placed orders for parts that translate to about 1.5 million iPads built in next quarter, according to The Wall Street Journal. “Suppliers will ramp up production and try to improve the yield rate for the new iPad in the fourth quarter before its official launch in early 2012,” The WSJ quoted one supplier as saying.

That’s likely a precursor to continued ramping up in the first quarter of 2012 to prepare for Apple’s now traditional launch of new iPads in late March or early April.

Prior to the release of the iPad 2, rumors suggested that it would have a high resolution 2048 x 1536 pixel display, but that idea was quickly squashed when it was realized that suppliers couldn’t make enough of those kinds of displays to meet Apple’s needs for the iPad 2 a year ago.

HiresSample image 2048x1536 pixels originally, scaled down

One tablet maker, Asus, revealed its quad-core tablet, the Asus Transformer at the AsiaD conference on Thursday. But Bloomberg’s Kevin Tofel reported that it’ll take more than sheer specs to win the war against the iPad 2 and 3. Even so, recent trends in modern Android smartphones, like the Motorola Droid RAZR and Samsung Galaxy Nexus, that are larger, have bigger displays and more geek-factor suggest that the strategy remains to throw technology at the iPhone and iPad until something breaks.

At Apple’s earnings report on Tuesday, Apple CEO Tim Cook expressed confidence that the iPad, with 140,000 apps, will remain ahead of the competition. He also noted that Apple has a pretty good idea where to go next with the iPad line.

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John:  Apparently with Apple just ordering the displays for the iPad 3 and having, according to rumor, directed its suppliers to ramp up production of its A6 chip for 1st Quarter 2012, that almost certain means, does it not, the 1st Quarter of 2012 is the earliest time for introduction of the iPad 3?

John Martellaro

I think Apple will want to release the iPad 3 in April 2012.  That timing does a terrific job of evening out Apple’s traditional revenue fluctuations by quarter. It starts the quarter off well and carries momentum into the summer for iPhone 5.


components for the iPad 3, including a 2048 x 1536 display

Of course it will be only 72dpi. It’ll be a really big iPad,

John Martellaro

This sounds like the iPad I’ve been waiting for. 9,7 inches of Retina pleasing goodness, yummie! It will be the perfect “show and tell” tool for me as a freelance photographer when I’m out visiting customers.

One thing though: Do we expect iPad 3 to sport the rumored A6 processor, or will it make do with the current A5 chip to drive that insane amount of pixels on the screen?


Dear Garion:  All we have about Apple’s A6 chip is open-source intelligence, and nearly all of that is rumor.  But here it is.  Rumor has it that Apple has been running test batches and test production of its A6 chip all this summer.  Rumor has it that the A6 chip is supposed to have four cores, be faster in that it does more computing in the same or less time, be more energy efficient, though that does not mean it uses less energy, have superior graphics, and be built, I think, on a 28nm process.  But all or any of the foregoing could be wrong.


You mean like the display here?  smile



Dear Garion:? All we have about Apple?s A6 chip is open-source intelligence, and nearly all of that is rumor.?

Thank you for sharing these interesting tidbits of info about the A6 chip, Nemo. Even if it’s just rumors at this point.

I take your answer to mean that you believe the iPad 3 will indeed sport the all new A6 chip? It would certainly make sense with more graphics power under the hood if the iPad 3 gets the rumored retina display.
If so, we’re talking about a crazy high resolution display!

Shameer M.


There rumors that state that the A6 is a quad-core processor is just an assumption at this point.  There was article not too long ago on Arstechnica stating that the A6 will likely still be dual-core cpu / gpu but shrunk to 28nm as opposed to 45nm. 

This allows Apple to decrease power consumption and increase yields / production which means decreased cost.

You have to remember Apple builds well over 100 million iOS devices every year.  If they went quad-core are they going to produce enough to satisfy demand even at 28nm die size. It’ll be really tough.

I’m not great at predicting the future but if I were a betting man I’d say they stick with the dual-core cpu / gpu setup but using a much improved architecture based on the ARM A15 for the CPU & PowerVR Rogue for the GPU.  This would still allow them to decrease power consumption, improve performance significantly plus produce enough to satisfy demand. 

I predict we see the quad-core architecture in 2013 (if the world doesn’t end by then lol).


If Apple is bringing the iPad to market in April, what carries the quarter after the holidays from January to April?


Please forgive my ignorance, but when is this new iPad supposed to be available? 

I only have an iPhone, an older 3GS and am going to be upgrading to a new 4S in the next couple of weeks or so.

I’d like to get an iPad, but if the iPad 3 isn’t going to be too far off, I’m willing to wait, especially if it means better resolution and a faster processor.

Any clarification on this new iPad would be appreciated.



John: I agree with you that the iPad 3 will come sometime in April 2012. However, I disagree that the next iPhone will be next summer; I believe we’ll have to wait until fall 2012.

Traditionally, Apple released updated iPods in the fall. With the decline in iPod sales, and their replacement as a device by the iPhone/iPod Touch, I am certain that Apple will want to have these latter devices ahead of the holiday shopping season, in fall.

One of the primary reasons I replaced my 32GB iPhone 4 with the 64GB iPhone 4S was to hold more songs. I no longer need the HDD based iPod Classic to have my entire iTunes library.


@barry Apple could release an iPhone 5 late Q2/early Q3 and an iPod touch late Q3. The devices have already gone in decidedly different directions with appearance and storage that it would be plausible.

@b0wz3r: The iPad has traditionally been released in March/April. Apple likes routine in their product releases.

Jeff Parks

why does the iPad only offer 64gb of storage? It iis a video device and even the iPhones have 64gb. That was a deal breaker that stopped me from upgrading to iPad 2 and it will stop me from getting a 3 too… 4 core and 128gb or 4 core and SD slot or I am not upgrading!

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