We certainly wouldn’t call the new iPad thick, but its waistline did see a slight increase in order to accommodate the larger battery and new screen tech. CNET believes that the increased thickness was a compromise on Apple’s part, with the company originally hoping to retain the same thickness using Sharp’s IGZO panels.
If the tech sounds familiar, it’s the panel that was rumored for the new iPad but didn’t make the grade due to supply issues, and it has also been hinted at being used in the upcoming Apple television. IGZO allows for more light to be let through the panel, which would mean Apple could have kept the original LED count in the new iPad. Instead, the panels they currently use require twice as many LEDs in order to let the same amount of light through.
Raymond Soneira, CEO of DisplayMate, says: “There's no question that the iPad 3 is Plan B. They pushed amorphous silicon to a higher [pixels per inch] than anybody else. But the light throughput is not good. So it has roughly twice as many LEDs, and they had to get a 70 percent larger battery.”
Richard Shim, an analyst with DisplaySearch, concurs with the theory, saying that the IGZO panels wouldn’t require such a large battery or the increase in LEDs for light output. Before the new iPad was unveiled, it was rumored that Sharp couldn’t cater to Apple’s demands, with Cupertino instead having to rely on panels from Samsung and LG using the traditional a-Si TFT process.