Chinese sources in touch with Apple’s supply chain have reportedly learned of a thinner iPad with Retina display launching this summer.
While it is highly improbable that Apple will introduce the same iPad with a thinner design only a few months after refresh, effectively spitting every early iPad 3 adopter in the face, the report does bear some credibility.
According to the Chinese-language Apple Daily, cited
, “The upgraded iPad is said to feature indium gallium zinc oxide (IGZO) panel technology to allow the device to feature an even thinner design and longer battery life. Panel supply will be shifted from Samsung to Sharp," the paper reportedly said.
The current IPS (in-plane-switching) displays used in the third-generation iPad require more space and more battery power to light up their three-million-pixel canvas to provide a good viewing experience.
IGZO technology, on the other hand, allows for the same results (if not better), with less power consumption, and less space being used. Considering that this would also allow Apple to include a smaller battery pack, the company would be killing two birds with one stone.
According to the Taiwanese trade publication, Samsung supplies 60-70 percent of current iPad panels, leaving the rest for LG Display and Sharp to deal with.
“But as Foxconn Electronics (Hon Hai Precision Industry) has recently made investments in Sharp, Sharp is expected to see its proportion rise to 50% for the upgraded iPad,” the paper reportedly added, citing its sources.
In other words, Apple has every reason to start mass producing a thinner version of the iPad, as all the hardware requirements are now available in bulk quantities.
As noted above, though, it very unlikely that Apple will cut the life of its third-gen iPad short, leaving millions of customers disappointed that summer brought a thinner and lighter version, with the same price tag, only a few months after the debut of the original Retina-capable tablet.