iPad 2 LCD supplier identified, no AMOLED? [Rumor]

According to Digitimes, Apple's iPad will will be featuring an LCD display with BLUs (Back Light Units) from supplier Coretronic. That, of course, means once again no S/AMOLED displays for an Apple device.

We have talked about numerous iPad specs and features but we've all pretty much assumed Apple would stick with LED lit LCD with IPS panels, given the success they have had with current iPhone 4 and iPad displays. AMOLED can be beautiful and performance in daylight has improved but both technologies still have their own strengths and weaknesses.

Not addressed is whether or not this LCD panel has a Retina Display, but we're still thinking the technology to pack 2048x1536 pixels into a 9.7-inch screen is a ways off.

Are you upset about the iPad 2 sticking with LCD? Were you hoping for S/AMOLED screen? Holding hope for a Retina Display? Tell us your take on this after the break!

[ Digitimes via 9To5 Mac ]

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Reader comments

iPad 2 LCD supplier identified, no AMOLED? [Rumor]

20 Comments

I'm sticking with my first gen iPad either way. I dont carry it everywhere like my iPhone so I dont need the latest and greatest every year. I will probably care more about the specs for the 3rd gen.

LCD will do just fine. If it will help keep the cost down, then stay away AMOLED
though I don't like your mock up. Its a finger print magnet,

I have no more info than the average tech rumor blog reader — but I'm willing to bet $10 that retina won't hit the iPad.
Not necessarily because of tech/costs limitations — but instead because I just don't think it makes sense.
This is a web viewing machine — what's a website going to look like on a 2048×1536px screen? Browsers on desktops that large work because the browser is normally not maximized and is actually run at a more reasonable size. A full screen browser at 2000+ px wide just seems very unApple. Sites will look small unless they come up with some strange zooming thing. Who knows.
Also, 1080p movies wouldn't be able to fill the screen either. They'd have to be zoomed in, and would lose quality.
Retina made sense on iPhone because it still kept the pixel count at/under media sizes of today. Retina on iPad will take the screen far past media sizes we deal with now, and I think will make the experience worse. I doubt Apple does it.

Long story short, there are multiple technologies that probably need to improve to get a 326 ppi Retina-style display into an iPad. Some details of the likely engineering challenges:
For the sake of argument, assume that the displays were available -- heck, even sitting in a warehouse waiting for someone to buy 'em.
The problem then falls through to the resource demands such a display places on the rest of a mobile computing system: the GPU and GPU RAM needs to increase dramatically. Main system RAM will likely need a bump as well to fully leverage the graphics possibilities. Ideally, even main CPU power (e.g. via multi-core) needs to go up as well. All of these increases will stress power and heat dissipation budgets in this class of devices severely. Another bit of perspective: at 326 ppi, an iPad-sized Retina Display would have around as many pixels as a 30" desktop monitor (2560x1600).
In principle, Apple might be able to build an iPad 2 with a Retina Display today. But it would be too expensive, too heavy, too hot, and have battery life that's too short -- bad when any one of those is a deal breaker on its own. Back to the displays again, my guess is that they're possible to manufacture but current manufacturing yield (number of good panels vs. number of rejects) would be poor -- jacking up the part price considerably.

What everyone's assuming here is that there is a need to essentially pack that 326ppi into the screen to justify it being touted as a "Retina Display".
However, think about how you use your iPad compared to your iPhone. Do you hold your iPad approximately 6 - 9" from your face when you're using it? Or is it more like 12 - 18"? At that distance, your ppi density for a "Retina Display" drops significantly. Granted, a 132ppi resolution, as is currently the case, is quite a distance from that magic number, but it doesn't require the 326ppi that the iPhone has. Something more in the low 200's or upper 100's range makes more sense.
At that point, yeah, I could completely see there being an upgraded screen resolution. Maybe something close to 1536x1152, increasing the pixel density to that upper 100s area. How this would be handled from an app standpoint is a whole different conversation, however.
Needless to say, I'd be pretty surprised if they didn't do something to improve the visuals on the iPad for the next generation. Not that it's poor by any means, but it's Apple, and given the "competition" that'll be dropping in 2011, they're going to want to stay on the forefront and really drive that final nail in.

There is nothing wrong with the iPad display and it's not going to change this time, other than maybe getting the lamination treatment like the iPhone 4. Oh, they'll say it's brighter or better colors or whatever, but it won't be Retina or OLED.

Thank god. AMOLED screens are completely awful. The pixel arrangement on it makes you feel like you're looking at some cheap newspaper from the 1970s. Blech.

Not a problem. The display is very good as is, and you know Apple is going to want to keep pricing the same or pretty close to first gen iPads. Since cameras and FaceTime are a given, I would rather they spend any extra dollars boosting the RAM and processor and adding gyroscopes. That's what will get me in the store.

@Jb... Maya is not running locally on that iPad. You can do that with nearly any remote desktop app.

Because the screen is so large (9.7") I don't think Apple is gonna make it a retina display. However, they are gonna make the screen "better." I'm just curious to see if the design will change. Either way, I'm holding out on an iPad till the 2nd gen.

Has anyone else noticed the terrible blue hue on the samoled screens. Unless they have fixed that, I don't want anything to do with it.

I don't think the screen will change at all this generation. Maybe by generation 3 the screen res will be bumped enough to show 1080p video but I worry it won't be untill generation 4.
Considering the current 4x3 aspect ratio is still ideal for a device designed mostly to consume printed content (books, magazines, the web, photos), to get 1080p video on a 4x3 iPad you need a display of 1920x1440.
That would be a pretty fine display for a device that size, and would likely qualify for the "retina" moniker from an Apple PR standpoint. Books at tiny fonts would still look great at typical iPad reading distance, and video would play back all the pixel resolution of 1080P blu-ray -- which is to say, all you'll ever need.
If they made one, I'd buy it in a second.
However, the current device just doesn't have to power to render that many pixels quickly enough for a quality blu-ray like experience -- neither the memory to store a library of blu-ray quality movies -- neither the bandwidth capacity to stream them.
A screen of this resolution also has the problem of not being a smooth scaling factor from the previous iPads, so all the Apps will need to be updated or sloppily converted.

@Nick: The iPhone 4's display is only denser than the retina's resolving capabilities if you hold it 12" from your eyes, which is what I find comfortable anyway. I can't imagine using anything closer than 12" (6"???? that's like IN YOUR FACE). Anyway, you're right we would hold an iPad further from our face but it isn't MUCH further so I'd say the resolution would still have to be in the mid 200s to be considered a "retina display"