3m iPad 3 'retina' screens sent to Apple by month's end
LG, Samsung and Sharp punch out the panels
Apple's next iPad will indeed feature a 2048 x 1536 "retina" display - if an Asian whisperer is right to say LG, Samsung and Sharp have already shipped more than one million such screens to the fruit-flavoured firm.
This month, claims the mole, they will ship two million units to Apple, DigiTimes says.
Separate reports have it that Apple has reduced its Q4 2011 orders for iPad 2 screens. A sign that Apple isn't expecting to sell too many iPads this quarter? Unlikely. It's more reasonable to expect this to be, in part, an adjustment arising from having ordered too many screens before.
Component maker moles say that's all it is: an inventory adjustment. Apple has enough screens to make 15-16m iPads for sale during Q4, they say.
But a reduction in iPad 2 screen orders might also arise from the sudden availability of what we may call iPad 3 screens. iPad "retina" display production seems to have been touch and go. Could LG, Samsung and Sharp punch out enough of them, of sufficient quality yet at the right price for Apple to put the displays into product? It has not be clear that they could.
If the initial source is right, they have, and Apple is modifying its orders accordingly.
Recall that last month, market watcher Jeff Fidacaro of US-based Susquehanna Financial, a stock broker, said his "supply chain checks" show Apple is planning to produce 12-14m iPads during the current quarter.
At a previous check, the total was 11-13m. Many of the extra million tablets are, he believes, iPad 3s. He says 600,000 to 1m iPad 3 orders have been placed by Apple. That figure broadly tallies with the 'million hi-res iPad screens shipped in October' claim.
DigiTimes sources say if the display shipment data is correct, Apple's iPad manufacturer, Foxconn, will begin assembling the tablets in January 2012.
That should allow Apple to ship a month or so after. ®
YOU don't need it. Yet another person standing up and claiming to speak for everyone, hooray.
I've got a computer with 2 x 23" 1920x1080 screens in portrait and 1 x 21" 1680x1050 screen in landscape, and would love to replace the smaller with a proper 27" 2560x1440 job.
There's a good reason for it. Pixel doubling and dimension doubling is dead easy to implement. It's what Palm did on their PDAs when they went from 160x160 to 320x320.
If you go from 1024x768 to 1280x1024 (as an example) or similar then every pixel has to be multiplied by 1.25 and fractional scaling is ugly and a pain in the ass.
The trouble with PCs is that their OS can't really make any use of higher resolutions, everything gets smaller with the smaller pixels and while you can cram more toolbars and icons and windows onto the screen there are tight limits to that since you still need to be able to read and click all these tiny things. A netbook running Windows on a 10" screen with 2048x1536 pixels would be just unusable and totally pointless.
The iPad goes the other way, the UI and fonts and everything stays at the same (absolute) sizes, the OS just uses more pixels to render buttons and icons and text, making everything look better and more sharp and clean. Around 300 DPI is what you want to have for things printed on paper and there is no reason to not want to have the same kind of detail and smoothness on a display, really.
It's very much like b/w displays against colour back then: At first it seems like a gaudy gimmick, but go back after getting used to see colours and you see there's something missing.
Apple's retina display claim is that 300ppi at 12" is the maximum that the eye can resolve. The iPhone's display is 336 ppi.
300 pi at 12" gives 57 arcseconds per pixel. To get the same angle at 264ppi, the equivalent distance would be 348mm (almost 14").
I'd say that it is reasonable to expect an iPad to be held a few inches further away than a phone.
There may well be a fault in my hasty calculations, but I don't have time to double check.
The calculation is a little more complex than that. You have to factor in the distance the screen is away from the eye. Certainly I hold my iPad at a greater distance than my iPhone.
So (without being arsed to do the actual calculation myself), that may well put 264dpi into the realm of 'retina' (the marketing term), whereby the pixels are indistinguishable from one another.