One of the more impressive features of Apple’s new iPad is the introduction of the Retina display that offers iPad owners a whopping resolution of 2048×1536. While we’re sure that many the layman are impressed by those numbers, it has been reported by the president of DisplayMate Technologies, Raymond Soneira (via CNET) that the iPad 3 is actually Apple’s Plan B. According to Soneira, Apple had originally intended to use Sharp’s IGZO display technology which would have resulted in a thinner and lighter iPad. Apparently Sharp’s IGZO technology was not ready at that time which was why Apple had to go for an older, amorphous silicon technology instead.
“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… There’s no question that the iPad 3 is Plan B. They pushed amorphous silicon to a higher [pixels per inch] 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.”
While we can’t confirm if Soneira was speaking purely from a speculative standpoint or if he had some insider knowledge, it does explain why the third-gen iPad is thicker and heavier than its predecessor, a move which seems almost backwards by Apple’s standards. Not to mention there have been many rumors prior to the announcement of the new iPad that Sharp was one of the suppliers for the new iPad’s displays. What do you guys think? Is the extra weight and thickness on the new iPad really that much more noticeable? If it is, do you think it was worth it just to have a much higher resolution display (among other features)?