A lot of people were disappointed when the iPad 2 didn't ship with a Retina Display, but it probably didn't make the cut because panels that dense simply weren't available in enough quantity in the months leading up to the iPad 2's debut in March 2011.
Good news for the resolution-obsessed: a TechUnwrapped tip that new high-resolution (1536 x 2048) images that were discovered in a Twitter .framework in the iOS 5 SDK.
You'll remember that pixel-doubled bookmark graphics (below) were discovered in Apple’s iBooks app back in January 2011. The double-sized graphics hinted that Apple might use the same pixel-doubling strategy it used for the iPhone 4 with the next-gen iPad -- making it a 2048 x 1536 device.
If the iPad 3 indeed ships with a 2048 x 1536 panel — double the amount of horizontal and vertical pixels of the iPad and iPad 2 — that would put it just behind the 27-inch iMac and 27-inch LED Cinema Display and as the third-highest resolution Apple device.
Here's the breakdown:
- 27-inch LED Cinema Display (2560 x 1440)
- 27-inch iMac (2560 x 1440)
- iPad 3 (est. 2048 x 1536)
- 24-inch iMac (1920 by 1080)
- 17-inch MacBook Pro (1920 x 1200)
- 15-inch MacBook Pro, high-res (1680 x 1050)
I'm really looking forward to seeing what's possible with a Retina Display in an iPad. And if the iPhone 4 is any indication it might mean the end of my print subscriptions, for good.
The big question: When will the iPad 3 be released?
History would suggest that iPad would drop in either March or April of 2012, but some have suggested that the iPad 3 could be fast-tracked and launch "in the Fall" with iOS 5 (and presumably the iPhone 5). However this would directly contradict Apple declaring 2011 the "Year of iPad 2."