Was the new iPad Apple’s ‘Plan B’?

Macworld Australia Staff
8 May, 2012
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Apple opted to use older silicone technology for the screen of its third-generation iPad after initial plans to utilise a lighter, thinner display fell through, according to reports.

Display expert and DisplayMate Technologies President Raymond Soneira claims the new iPad was set to feature cutting-edge display technology from Sharp called IGZO, but was later forced to settle for amorphous silicone, possibly due to Sharp not meeting Apple’s quality standards.

The silicone display used in the new iPad also required a larger battery, which, in turn, contributed to its slightly heavier weight compared to its predecessor, the iPad 2.

“The plan was to use this new technology called IGZO from Sharp – a lot higher electron mobility that allows them to make the transistors a lot smaller and the circuit elements a lot smaller,” Soneira recently told CNET. “[Instead Apple] pushed amorphous silicon to a higher [pixels per inch resolution] than anybody else. But the light throughput is not good. So it has roughly twice as many LEDs, and they had to get a 70 percent larger battery.”

The news may come as a surprise to many, given that the new iPad’s ‘resolutionary’ 2048 x 1536 pixel Retina display was touted as a headline feature by Apple.

Had the company been able to implement IGZO technology, the form and weight of the new iPad would be significantly less, Soneira believes.

“There’s no question that the iPad 3 is Plan B.”



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