A pair of reports from Asia claim that Apple is looking to tweak the new iPad with a re-worked LED backlight and a revised battery. The new SKU is reportedly meant to address the overheating woes which blew up shortly following the launch, due to criticism by Consumer Reports

The notoriously unreliable DigiTimes first reported on Tuesday, citing unnamed supply chain sources, that Apple is working on a “small revision” to the new iPad with a re-worked battery and an enlarged lens hole.

The sources said the new iPad’s battery is being revised, which will help prevent overheating issues and could possibly make the device slightly lighter and thinner than previously designed. However, no comments were offered as to why the lens is being enlarged.

And another report from today has it that the company is considering reverting back to a single-LED backlight to reduce heat emission. The current iPad 3 uses a dual-LED bar design because pixels on its Retina display are packed so dense that more power is needed to beam the light through. However, two LED bars consume additional power and contribute to heat emission.

The extra LED is reportedly adding to overheating and that using one LED will help solve overheating issues since more backlights along with more power to heat those backlights is causing overheating.

And if the sources are to be trusted, the one LED backlight module won’t affect luminosity and clarity of the Retina display.

The trade publication also mentions a report by the Chinese-language Apple Daily claiming the upgraded iPad will also feature power-efficient IGZO (indium gallium zinc oxide) panel made by Sharp. The revised hardware is said to be coming around the holiday season.

Given DigiTimes’ track record, I wouldn’t read too much into these reports. Also, Apple did say that the new iPad “operates well within our thermal specifications” so why bother reworking it if the overheating reports were overblown?

On the other hand, it sure would be prudent of Apple to address some of the teething problems with the new iPad. Minor under-the-hood tweaks to the shipping hardware are the norm in this industry. Sony, for example, will reportedly launch a new PlayStation model featuring more power-friendly chips and a slimmer appearance.

At a certain threshold, manufacturers really start to feel the effects of the economies of scale so any hardware optimization. Even the slightest decrease in bill of materials can easily translate into millions and millions of production dollars saved.

If this rumors proves true, don’t expect a revised iPad 3 to be pompously announced or even acknowledged with a press release. As is the case with other Apple products, namely Macs, the company will simply issue a new SKU and pump it into the channel.

It would be nice if the iPad 3 emitted a bit less heat, wouldn’t it?

  • Guest

    “due to criticism by Consumer Reports.” Please…

  • Guest

    “due to criticism by Consumer Reports.” Really?

  • skychet

    Obviously Apple has acknowledged this problem and taken it into their own hands, whether CR or any other publication had anything else to say about it. If anything it’s a good thing they pointed it out so they can make their product better. I like how that Consumer Reports link sends you to your “OMG CR had something bad to say about the new iPad” page by the way.

  • I hope they’ll offer it for free for the people that already have one of the units since it is a “malfunction” of sorts…

    • I hope you really don’t expectect apple to do that. You’re joking, right?
      Sorry, i mean expect. Not expectect. I seem to have nothing but typing errors since iDB changed to disqus.

      • I mean, yeah, Apple would never do that, but they did offer replacements for the overheating iPods… I’m just saying I’d want it to happen 😛

      • Really? That’s good of them. When i replaced my iphone 4 ( 3 times ) for different problems, they replaced my it with reconditioned ones each time. They wouldn’t give me a new replacement. I asked why they don’t give me a new one and they said “the reconditioned ones are better. Maybe they’ll give you a reconditioned one. Haha
        Good luck anyway.

  • imot65

    I’m quite happy with mine… it makes Sunny-Side-Up eggs wonderfully

  • Well I haven’t had any overheating issues with mine. It only gets warm in the bottom left corner when playing heavy CPU/GPU apps but that has to do with the processor not the battery.

    • Same here. And even then, I have it in a case, so I don’t feel the heat at all. I’m sure they’ll just do what they did with the iPad 2 when they gave it a new processor, and just release it without saying anything. Unless it gets the new display, then I’m sure they’ll announce it.

  • YujinNY

    I’m in NYC haven’t installed an ac yet but while the temperature hits 100 my iPad has never had this issue. Using the new iPad and iPad 2 for the gf.

  • KewlDewd

    This is the first I’ve heard of an “overheating” issue. Overheating implies there’s a failure or reduction in performance as a result of heating, but as far as I’ve heard and experienced with my own iPad it is simply a matter of the iPad becoming warm under heavy graphics use. Mine occasionally gets warm in the corner which has no effect, that I’ve seen, on performance. I’m amazed that this keeps coming up as an issue.

  • Apple still has not stepped up to say that the iPad 3 currently is having heat issues, as stated in the article.

    So I believe they will make this as a discrete change and pretend nothing ever happened. Meaning those with iPad 3’s currently probably will not have a chance to switch their device.

    Of course, that could all change if only Apple had a PR and admitted that the iPad 3 has a problem.

  • smtp25

    Does no one else feel ripped of by this? Lighter, more power efficient etc

    You buy an iPad/iPhone with the tacit understanding there won’t be a bigger better one for at least a year. iPad mini is the exception as it is a lesser device

  • creedwaters

    ive not had any over heating issues with my ipad3. and i play order & chaos online for 6hrs+ plus a day. its get warm, but its nothing compared to my galaxy note whos lens rim gets a few degrees from burning your hand

  • Not gonna happen, iPhone 4’s antenna was a much huger problem and they didn’t take the path suggested in this article, why would they do it now? Hold it for next year is any sane businessman’s choice.

  • Christian Rene Friborg

    My mom told me about this and I just ignored it because I thought she was just over reacting about the ipad’s temperature.