Rumours are circulating in the channel that the next generation iPad will have a much higher resolution screen with four times the pixel count.
Compared to the last generation, the iPhone 4 doubled the screen resolution in both directions from 320×480 to 640×960 giving it four times the pixels and a class leading pixel per inch density of 326. Apple called this the ‘Retina Display’ because it surpassed the typical resolution of the human eye making the individual dots impossible to see.
The iPad we all know and love has a resolution of 1024×768 (yes its not High Definition regardless of what the new apps on the store say) at 132 ppi. Many people have assumed, that just like the iPhone 4, the new model will get a Retina display. The only issue is that creating a 325 ppi screen over 9.7 inches will require a massive resolution.
From what sources are saying, it appears that Apple are quadrupling the native resolution as they did with the iPhone 4 which will result in a final display with a pixel density of around 260 ppi. Shy of ‘Retina’ specifications, but much higher than most high end smartphones.
The upsides with a simple 4x resolution increase is that developers will be able to ship applications with two versions of graphic files incorporated at two seperate resolutions.
Apple has already hinted at this by having two versions of graphics in versions of their iBooks application, one targeted at the iPhone 4 and another at a future version of the iPad. This includes “bookmark-ribbon-iPad@2x.png” and a “Wood Tile@2x.png” image that covers 1536×800, rather than the standard 768×400 image used on iPad. More info on this over here.
Obviously with such a huge increase in resolution the processing power will need to be adjusted accordingly. Latest reports suggest that a new version of the A4 ARM processor, either the A5 or A8 is going to be incorporated. How this will affect battery life is a topic for another day.
Exciting times ahead for Apple and we can be sure that this will sell, not only to new users, but to Apple fans who want an upgrade. eBay will be a prime place to pick up iPad bargains this year, thats for sure.