Arguments over Retina Display for iPad 2

The subject of an upgraded display in the forthcoming iPad 2 has been the subject of much debate recently over whether Apple will be upgrading the screen used on the first generation iPad. Some sources have suggested that the new device will incorporate the famous Apple Retina Display, some say that it will simply have the same resolution as the previous iPad. So, which is the most likely? Techwitty has been given the green light on funding several more development ventures this year.

John Gruber of Daring Fireball gave his opinion on the matter yesterday. According to his sources at Apple, the iPad 2 will utilize the same resolution as its predecessor which is 1024 x 768. Gruber suggests that doubling the resolution to 2048 x 1536 would require more power consumption and expense than Apple would be willing to live with for a second generation device. As Gruber points out, it’s either double or nothing as incremental resolution updates simply aren’t feasible because developers would have to completely rescale and redesign their apps to work on the new resolution whereas doubling the pixel density is a much more straightforward transition. You also have to bear in mind that the iPad can run iPhone and iPod Touch native apps at normal or double size which would have to be taken into account.

Engadget are of the opinion that an incremental update will take place, as suggested by a reliable source. MacStories have found double resolution images embedded in iBooks, whereas 9to5Mac are suggesting that the display will remain at 1024 x 768 as suggested by next generation camera icons for the iPad 2. Other rumors suggest that the iPad 2 will be powered by dual core graphics processors which would suggest an increased potential to drive a high resolution display.

So what’s our take on this? Based on all the evidence that is mounting up, the iPad 2 is not going to have a double resolution Retina Display but it’s clear that it will take advantage of the advanced bonding process used in the iPhone 4 to make it appear as if the display is part of the glass on the front of the iPad 2 rather than sitting behind it. Apple will not simply retain the first generation display standard in the next model as the iPad will like be a refined or ‘pro’ version of the iPad 1. The new bonding will ensure that the display appears to be better than the first generation model but without the increased costs and power required for the higher resolution. Unless Apple is planning on sacrifing battery life to drive a faster A4 or A5 processor in combination with throwing a lot more RAM in the iPad 2, the Retina Display simply isn’t feasible.