Apple Kicks Off Production of iPad 3 Retina Display

Smaller iPad may also emerge in the second half of 2012, analyst says

A person who is privy to Apple’s product lineup has revealed in an interview that Apple-partner QXGA “has started” production of the high-resolution 2048x1536 display that is destined for the iPad 3.

DisplaySearch analyst Richard Shim told Cnet that production of a 10-inch “Retina Display” for iPad 3 “has started”.

Rumors of a display capable of outputting retina-grade graphics have been circulating for over a year now, and it seems Apple is finally on track to deliver.

"It's happening--QXGA, 2048x1536. Panel production has started [for the next-generation iPad]. There's three suppliers," Shim said, adding that Samsung, Sharp, and LG Display have all secured contracts with Apple, as previously reported by Taiwanese publications.

"I would imagine there would be concerns about [adequate] supply given the resolution of the display but you've got three different suppliers at this point. They should have enough to launch the product," Shim said.

"It takes a couple of weeks for the production to go to the ODMs (the manufacturers). Then the manufacturer puts them in the housing. Then, that goes off to shipment. We could start seeing finished devices produced in December. And then being ready to be shipped in January. With volumes gearing up in February and March," he explained.

Shin added that Apple’s new displays will not be much different from the current models we see in the market today, but they will use IPS (in-plane switching) technology like most current Apple products.

The technology allows you to turn and twist the device around with little to no distortion to the image on-screen from the user’s perspective.

The analyst also weighed in on rumors about a smaller iPad saying only that it’s possible such a device will come sometime next year, most likely in the second half.

"If there's demand there. There's no reason they wouldn't build a 7.85-inch iPad," Shim said.

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