Apple to reportedly launch revamped third-gen iPad this summer

Yeah as far as crazy rumors go, this one could be among the craziest. A new report is out this morning claiming that Apple is set to release a revamped version of its third generation iPad this summer.

The difference between this tablet and the one that Apple released three months ago is that it’s supposedly going to be thinner, have better battery life, and its Retina display is going to be made by Sharp…

DigiTimes (who else) reports:

“Apple is reportedly set to launch an upgraded 9.7-inch iPad in the summer of this year with the device shipment volumes expected to increase starting September, according to a Chinese-language Apple Daily report citing sources from market watchers.

The upgraded iPad is said to feature indium gallium zinc oxide (IGZO) panel technology to allow the device to feature an even thinner design and longer battery life. Panel supply will be shifted from Samsung to Sharp, the paper noted.”

Interestingly enough, there were rumors leading up to the iPad launch that Apple was going to use Sharp’s IGZO panels in its new tablet. But the production quality of these panels wasn’t up to Apple’s standards.

It’s believed that this, among other problems, forced the Cupertino company to go with technology that made its tablet heavier and thicker than its predecessor — details the new iPad has been heavily criticized on.

Is it possible that Sharp now has its act together, allowing Apple to revert back to its original plan to make its new iPad thinner than its previous-generation tablet? Sure it’s possible. But is it likely?

If Apple started churning out these “improved” iPads, what would they sell for? The same price? How would early third-generation iPad adopters react to being stuck with 3-month old outdated hardware?

I guess what could happen is that Apple could change the way it makes the iPad — thus bringing about the aforementioned changes — and just not tell anyone, similar to how it quietly released the improved iPad 2 earlier this year.

The whole thing still sounds crazy to us, but it’s possible. This is Apple we’re talking about.

What do you think?