Apple’s upcoming next generation iPad has been rumored to have a high definition Retina display, with a resolution twice that of the iPad 2. While it’s not confirmed, we’ve heard so many hints about this new feature that I would be shocked if it didn’t happen.
To add a bit more weight to the rumor, images uncovered by developers in the latest version of Apple’s iBooks – iBooks 2 – are high resolution and tailored for a Retina display.
Since the iPad 2 does not have a Retina display, these images can only be meant for the iPad 3. These images have an “@2x” in their file name, and with 2048×1536 pixels, they are twice the resolution of what the current iPad is able to display.
The iPad images are 264 pixels per inch, which falls short of the 328ppi that the current iPhones are capable of. 264ppi is concurrent with the rumored 2048×1536 display, and while it’s not quite up to par with the iPhone, it’s still a significant improvement from the iPad 2’s 1024×768 132ppi display.
These higher resolution iPad images also snuck into an iBooks update last January, along with @2x images for the iPhone, prompting people to speculate that the iPad 2 would have a doubled resolution. That turned out to be untrue, and the images were removed from later versions of iBooks.
This time, their reappearance is likely indicative of a resolution update, given the numerous reports of a higher resolution display. We won’t know for sure until March, but all signs are pointing towards some significant upgrades.