Apple is reportedly quality-testing high-resolution displays for a next-gen iPad from Samsung and LG Display, with orders expected to be placed imminently. "Apple's upcoming iPad 3 will feature an improved display to support quad extended graphics (QXGA)" a tipster tells The Korea Times, "a display resolution of 2048 x 1536 pixels with a 4:3 aspect ratio to provide full high definition (HD) viewing experience." However, contrary to previous rumors, the company reportedly has no interest in OLED-based display technology.
Part of Apple's reluctance to consider OLED is the generally small panel size, though the resolution on offer also comes in for criticism. "Another drawback is the current OLED technology is not at the level to realize a full HD viewing experience, which is important for tablets" the inside source suggests.
Instead, both Samsung and LG Display's screens use low-temperature polysilicon LCD, or p-Si LCD, which sees the display driver mounted directly to the glass substrate; that makes for a thinner, lighter panel altogether. As for pixel density, the screens are expected to offer in the region of 280 ppi, short of the 326 ppi "Retina Display" found on the iPhone 4, but still considerably higher than the 132 ppi iPad 2 currently on sale.
Each company demonstrated its panel technology earlier in the year, with Samsung showing a 10.1-inch 2560 x 1600 screen while LG Display outed its own AH-IPS high-res option. Both companies have declined to comment on these latest rumors.
Samsung's continued presence on the Apple component supply roster, despite the ongoing legal battle between the two companies, is indicative of how reliant the Cupertino company has become on its Korean friend/foe. Recently, Apple has been tipped to be switching its chip supplier from Samsung Semiconductor to TSMC, though Samsung Display is confident its panels will find their way into future products. "We aren't affected significantly by Apple’s changing approach" an unnamed senior Samsung exec suggested. "Apple is first and foremost about product quality, and while it may find other manufacturers to provide customized chips for its new products, the same can’t be said about LCDs."
The exact product these high-resolution 9.7-inch displays will be used for is unclear. Various rumors have circulated in the past few months regarding Apple's iPad plans; most recently, an iPad HD has been tipped, co-existing with the current model and offering a pixel-rich option for graphics professionals. Despite having now been on sale for several months, Apple has only managed to muster sufficient supplies to meet demand in the past week.
[via Apple Insider]