updated 10:35 pm EST, Wed January 19, 2011
Part suppliers say iPad 2 2048x1536 screen intact
Debate over whether the iPad 2 might use a 2048x1536 display was furthered again on Wednesday night with a claim that the technology was still in the works for the new model. Part manufacturers said that the higher resolution would be part of the new model as it went into its large-sized iBooks images were, despite doubts, clues as to the strategy.
They also speculated that the larger, 1,536-pixel wide background tile and other graphics elements would be friendly to an app that could scale to desktop resolutions and allow a desktop app. The insiders didn't claim any inside knowledge of Mac development.
Apple's current generation of iPads, meanwhile, was supposedly in its last month of full-tilt production and would see between 1.6 million to 1.8 million shipped. February numbers would drop as Apple transitioned over to the new design. When the new iPad ships, which most now think would be in late March or early April, it's expected to have between 400,000 and 600,000 units ready to sell. The numbers implied that Apple might have to repeat its US-first release strategy to guarantee enough stock.
The resolution would be a logical extension of what Apple did for the iPhone 4, whose 960x640 display was unexpected, and might be possible given a long-term deal with LG Display that could keep the costs of a 2048x1536 display down. Some obstacles would still persist, including the need for much more RAM and possibly LG's ability to mass produce displays on that level. Apple is suspected of having prototype iPads with those displays on its campus but may not be ready to ship them until 2012.