After the much-acknowledged success of iPad2, people have been awaiting the next iteration in the series namely iPad3. But even before its release, Apple might come across a roadblock in the form of fragile supply of retina displays. With the increasing competition in the tablet market, this could prove vital as Apple might not be able to handle to demand-supply chain.
The tablet has generated a lot of buzz with a display resolution of 2,048 x 1,536, offering 3.1 million pixels. This is almost four-times more than that of iPad2. Apple acquires these displays from three manufactures namely Samsung, Sharp and LG Display. But recently, there are some problems being faced by Sharp in manufacturing of these displays.
According to display analyst NPD DisplaySearch, the quality of sample displays produced by Sharp is not to the liking of Apple as Sharp is using IGZO TFTs rather than a-Si TFT used by Samsung and LG Display. There are also speculations that Sharp is looking to make the switch which might not be easy as the upper limit of pixel density for a-Si TFT is 264ppi.
There are also many other issues involved with the new display panel which, due to its increased pixel density, would require brighter blacklight. This means that it would need twice as many LEDs as the iPad2, which in turn would demand a larger battery to power up.
After the success of iPad 2 and the buzz going around, it seems that Apple would have a difficult task ahead of them to meet the demands of iPad 3. Everything would be dependent on display panel suppliers to increase the production in order to meet the surge in demand.
Apple has kept the entry price of iPad3 same as that of iPad2 at $499 for a Wi-Fi only version with 16 gigabytes of storage.