Apple’s next generation iPad, which we’ll assume will be called the iPad 3, is set to feature an ultra high resolution display. We’re talking 2048 x 1536 pixels, better known as QXGA. According to Richard Shim, an analyst at DisplaySearch who was interviewed by C|Net, production of said display has begun. The three companies building the difficult to manufacture panel are Samsung, Sharp, and LG. Shim says that it takes a few weeks for the display to reach ODMs (original design manufacturer), the folks who build the actual iPad, so we’re looking at devices shipping in January and then production fully ramping up by February or March. That would mean that the rumor we heard yesterday of the iPad 3 possibly being announced in January and then shipping in March is quite possibly true.
Now there’s something about Apple’s new CEO, Tim Cook, that you should know. He hates inventory sitting in warehouses. Apple, like every other company on the face of the planet, tries their best to minimize the amount of product they have on hand. If Apple can start cranking out retail iPad 3 units in January, then Cook wants to make sure they can be sold as soon as possible. That being said, both the iPad 1 and the iPad 2 faced some supply constraints. Apple literally couldn’t make them fast enough. Does it make sense then to start making the iPad 3 in January and then build up stock over the next few months to make sure there are no sell outs? We frankly don’t know since we have no idea how hard it is to make this new LCD panel, what Apple’s projections are for iPad 3 sales, and how many countries Apple wants to launch the iPad 3 in simultaneously.
All we know is this, we seriously can’t wait to get our hands on tablets, be it the iPad or something running Android, that match the crispness of the smartphones we’ve all been using for well over a year now.