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iPad 3 launch in 2011 purportedly scrapped due to displays

updated 10:10 pm EDT, Mon August 15, 2011

iPad 3 rumor conveniently pushes plans to 2012

A rumor late Monday conveniently pushed back the iPad 3 out of a questionable 2011 release window. Apple was supposedly due to ship the tablet in limited numbers in 2011 but has cancelled all orders until 2012. Tips to Digitimes claimed that it was due to poor production yields of the 2048x1536 display, which makes it too expensive at Sharp and just isn't enough to meet goals at LG and Samsung.

The challenges of the iPad 3 display itself are reportedly unique. The four times denser pixel count reduces the amount of light transmitted from the display and requires a much larger backlight than what the iPad 2 offers. With Apple requiring its usual thinness and IPS display quality, Apple can't move faster on the screen, according to the rumors' sources.

While many have expected the 2048x1536 display, the supposed delay into 2012 is ultimately much more consistent with Apple's practices of having one update to an iOS device per year and an early spring iPad release schedule. Under the most recent rumor, Apple would have shipped no more than two million iPad 3s in the summer and six million in the summer, peaking at eight million for the whole year. This makes no sense given that Apple shipped 9.25 million iPad 2s just in the spring and is expected to demand much more in the second half of the year, which would relegate the third-generation model to a subset of production at best.

Many countering rumors have ruled out a 2011 iPad 3, not the least of which is talk that Apple is just starting test production on chips and would have no way of making a 2011 release.

The claim may have some grain of truth relating to iPad 2 production. Apple is believed to be shipping 28 million to 30 million of the current tablets for the second half of the year, figures that would be consistent with the usual holiday season spikes and the extra production used to tide demand while Apple switches production over to a new model at the start of the year.

by MacNN Staff



  1. drumrobot

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Here's the real question:

    Did anyone actually think that an iPad (3/Pro/HD/Plus/Whatever you want to call it) was going to be launched in 2011?
    This was one rumor that made no sense from the start but still got tons of attention.

  1. garmonbosia

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Don't forget...

    This is the same electronista that reported as fact that Jeff Besos applied for a patent on a method to cushion a smartphone with either itsy bitsy airbags or jets of air. Of course they will report any negative rumor about Apple as fact.

  1. testudo

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Re: Don't forget

    How is this a 'negative rumor'? Anything that convinces the consumer that a new device isn't 'right around the corner' is a good thing. Anything else does nothing but hurt sales.

    And releasing a new iPad anytime soon would be plain stupid. Costs for things like electronics (esp. with Apple) start high and come down over time. Apple makes more money on an iPad 2 sale now then it did in April (economies of scale). The iPad is still selling well. Let's say gross margins range from 30% to 50% over the life of the product. Right now Apple might be sitting at 40%. If they continue to sell it for the full year lifespan, they would get their margins up to 50%. But if they come out with a new iPad in October, their margins revert back to 30% and have to grow again.

    On top of that, there's no glaring omission in the iPad. It isn't like they're trying to push FaceTime and still don't have a camera on it or anything. There's just no fiscally sound reason to come out with a new iPad anytime soon.

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