Those of us salivating over the prospects of getting our hands on the iPad3 in 2011 will likely be disappointed by all signs that point to mid 2012.
Apple always manages to astound the market by confounding tech analysts and consumers alike, producing innovative and slick products. So despite its stock (AAPL.O) closing at an all-time high Monday, $411.63, rapidly spreading news of the delay of the iPad 3 will deject millions of potential customers anticipating the next great lifestyle component.
The iPad 3’s 9.7-inch is rumoured to be enhanced with the so-called retina display technology (utilized on the iPhone 4) capable of 2048 x 1536 display, twice as many pixels as its predecessor.
Tech watchers have pointed out that certain technological restrictions are constraining speedier development of Apple’s next generation tablet, likely to be lighter and thinner if history is any guide.
Digitimes of Taiwan, a tech firm reported August 16 that Apple had canceled some component orders from Sharp, Samsung and LG that were otherwise intended for a 2011 iPad 3 launch.
On its own, the cancellation does not indicate such a long delay, but taken together with two other factors makes a mid-2012 release more likely.
In order produce a display four times as sharp as the iPad 2 on a 9.7-inch screen the backlighting source and mobile chip processor will need to be more powerful without depleting the unit’s battery power so rapidly. The chip used on current iPad 2s, the A5, cannot meet those demands, whereas the Quad Core A6 mobile processor will not be ready until the middle of 2012, according to the Linley Group.
As for the other reason for Apple’s delay, Mark Moskowitz of JP Morgan wrote:
We do not expect iPad 3 this year, but there's no rush. The other tablet entrants have stumbled. Offerings by MMI [Motorola Mobility] and RIM have been the latest disappointments. Also, we had the opportunity to demo Sony's tablet before its launch. We were not impressed. Sony's tablet lacks the refined, sleek feel of the iPad. We felt that the sloping or bezel-like back of the Sony tablet feels more like petrified, folded-over pages than a 21st century consumer electronics device.
Apple’s tablets have commanded a dominant position in the market, revolutionizing the interaction between consumers and the Internet by putting access to audio/visual content literally at one’s fingertips.
3 million iPads sold in the first 80 days of its launch, ending with almost 15 million shipped in 2010 and constituting 75% of market share.