July 18, 2011 at 10:59 AM ET
We've heard rumors that Apple might give the next generation iPad — frequently referred to as the iPad 3 or the iPad HD — a high-resolution display, but now there are reports that the company may already be testing screen parts for the upcoming device.
9to5 Mac pointed out a story in The Korea Times which claims that Apple is currently quality-testing LCD parts made by Samsung and LG in order to determine which will work best for its next generation tablet. The technical specifications suggested for the device are similar to what we've seen in prior reports:
"Apple’s upcoming iPad 3 will feature an improved display to support quad extended graphics (QXGA), a display resolution of 2048×1536 pixels with a 4:3 aspect ratio to provide full high definition (HD) viewing experience," said a source close to the talks.
Such a display would mean that the next generation iPad would have a resolution twice that of the model currently on the market, but — as MacStories notes — this still doesn't mean that it would catch up with the iPhone 4 Retina Display's quality entirely:
Such a resolution for a 9.7″ display would mean the display has roughly 260 DPI and would likely fit under the ‘Retina Display’ marketing term – despite the fact that for the iPhone it was specified to be above 300 DPI, this is because the iPad is normally held further away from the eyes, and thus the DPI requirement is lower.
Those details aside, the report of a high-resolution display still fits in with suggestions that there might be two next generation iPad models which will co-exist in the future — a "pro" device with an HD display and a simpler lower-cost device. This would seem like a logical move for Apple to consider since it offers high-end and low-end versions of most of its current generation products — except the iPhone and iPad — and is probably eager to make such a pattern apply to all of its product lines.
Of course, it's worth noting that we've only got gossip, reports with unnamed sources, and rumors to work with at this point, so we do suggest that all the speculation be taken with a generous serving of salt until we have something straight from Apple itself.