Apple’s “resolutionary” iPad 3 brings with it the company’s best Retina Display yet, featuring an astounding resolution of 2,048-by-1,536 pixels. Because so many pixels are crammed up on the same 9.7-inch canvas, much stronger backlight is required in order to push the light through the pixels, taxing the battery and adding up to the device’s overall thickness.

A new report cites a prominent display expert who claims that Cupertino is working on an improved Retina tech for an updated third-generation iPad. The new display is thought to be thinner and consume less power, allowing for a new iPad stock-keeping unit (SKU) with a slightly better battery life and lower heat dissipation…

Brooke Crothers, writing for CNET, quotes market research firm NPD DisplaySearch’s analyst Richard Shim who thinks, based on his supply chain checks, that Apple will tap Indium Gallium Zinc Oxide (GZO) panels to reduce the display’s thickness and heat.

We are seeing [Apple] work with panel makers to come out with a display that enables a thinner overall [product] with longer battery life.

DisplaySearch also wrote in a last week’s note:

Apple is working with the LCD supply chain to refresh the display, including revising the LED backlight design for cost reduction, refining the thermal solution, reducing the weight by replacing some components, and fine tuning the panel transmittance for lower power consumption.

Samsung would be a likely manufacturer, the analyst said.

This contrast a summer report by DigiTimes which also called for a revised third-gen iPad with IGZO technology, but said to be supplid by the ailing Japanese electronics maker Sharp.

Apple’s favorite contract manufacturer Foxconn is throwing Sharp a lifeline by offering to buy some of its shares. Foxconn CEO Terry Gou also bought Sharp’s cutting-edge Japanese plant that produces IGZO panels and paid for it out of his own pocket, in an attempt to “beat Samsung on clearness”, as he put it.

Samsung is currently the primary supplier of Retina displays for the third-generation iPad. There has been some talk lately that Apple was cutting back part orders from its South Korea-based frenemy, though only for the next iPhone.

If true, this would mean Apple has after all acknowledged Heatgate and accepted that the iPad’s Retina performance may not be up to its high standards.

The research firm estimates Apple could make about seven million iPads with the updated Retina technology.

The report coincides with a July story by iLounge editor Jeremy Horwitz who wrote that a new iPad 3 SKU should be expected by the year’s end, based around minor improvements to its internals and the addition of a smaller dock connector that’s reportedly debuting on the iPhone 5 next Wednesday.

Apple’s current plan for the fourth-generation iPad is to release another relatively modest body tweak, which would keep the shape basically the same while introducing the new small Dock Connector, a rear-side microphone, and spec-improving/heat-reducing changes to the hardware inside.

Call it a fourth-generation iPad or just a new SKU of the iPad 3, but this would be the first time Apple skipped its annual refresh cycle for its mobile devices to update an iOS device with better technology.

This isn’t terribly surprising, if you ask me.

Just take another look at Apple’s television commercials for the iPad, the iPhone and even the new MacBook Pro: they all focus on just one thing – the Retina display.

Are you satisfied with the Retina display performance on your iPad 3?

  • “Read something”.

  • The problem for me is not the retina display but the eat problem and thicknesss. Also the overheating problem can be a pain.

    • AdamChew

      You have been reading too much tech news and yes no first hand experience with the product hence the ignorance.

      Can’t blame you because many are in the same boat – regurgitate what others are saying.

  • I agree with Apple. The tecnology to push retina display on the iPad 3 Gen. in a perfect way, was not there yet.

    Uses too much power.
    Alot of battery.
    And makes the devices thicker.

    Making the iPad 3 Gen. “not perfect” in Apple standars. And that’s exlactly why I have not bought the last gen. iPad, I knew they will relese a newer version sooner.

    If they relese an iPad 3.5 I will be the first in line to buy it!!

    • Kok Hean

      iPad 3S 😛

      • ReanimationXP

        The new iPad S

  • Not going to happen. Apple will never update their product lines mid cycle unless there is a very, very good reason for it. Like a legal issue or when a product has proven to be hazardous. None of this is the case. It’s just a better screen. That alone ladies and gentlemen isn’t a good reason to update right now. But it is a great selling point next year…

    • ReanimationXP

      someone with some sense.

  • WatchTheThrone

    It’ll be the iPad 4th gen comin in march!! I seriously doubt they’ll make a different iPad 3rd gen because people would complain about it!! Not to mention you need something in march to sell the 4th gen like say “now much thinner and lighter than iPad 3rd gen….and with much better battery life”.

  • FutureMedia

    Mine runs perfectly with the brightness turned all the way down and even in a bright room below the center point in the brightness setting.