Third-Gen iPad ‘Refresh’ to be Quietly Introduced Next Month

iPad 3Back in July we told you about the murmurings of small revisions to the third-generation iPad that would essentially be a part of the fourth-generation launch next spring. An iPad 3S, if you will.

Last month, DisplaySearch claimed that Apple will be launching three new products in the second half of 2012. The iPhone 5, which no one disputes, the iPad mini, which has not been made official, but we are all rooting for it, and an iPad “refresh.”

Instead of waiting until March to launch a new model, Apple is apparently rolling out minor changes to the current generation iPad this fall.

With a voice of confident knowledge, DisplaySearch is claiming that an iPad refresh is already in the pipeline.

The new iPad leads the tablet PC market with its high resolution (9.7” QXGA with 200+ ppi) and high color saturation. However, Apple is working with the LCD supply chain to refresh the display, including revising the LED backlight design for cost reduction, refining the thermal solution, reducing the weight by replacing some components, and fine tuning the panel transmittance for lower power consumption.

According to David Hsieh, Vice President, Greater China Market for DisplaySearch, the LCD supply chain has started gearing up for Apple manufacturing. The supply chain companies, including Japan Display, LG Display, Sharp, AUO, Chimei Innolux, Samsung, Radiant, Coretronic, TPK, Wintek, and Foxconn, will be producing display panels that have high resolution, slim form factor, lightweight, and low power consumption.

CultofMac pointed out that an iPad refresh makes sense, since the third-generation Apple tablet has a display panel that was not part of the original intentions of the final product. “Because Apple is using inefficient displays compared to the Sharp IGZO display panels it wants to use, the new iPad is heavier and fatter than its predecessor.”

CultofMac argues that, if an iPad refresh is released later this year, there probably won’t be an iPad 4 released in March of next year, like the past three generations of iPads have been.

If Apple releases an iPad refresh this fall, it is likely that the company is going to pull away from the idea that the device is something that needs a yearly remodel. It could be that Apple wants us to think of the iPad more like a desktop or laptop. Instead of a big event every year that changes the look and performance of the tablet, the company would roll out minor changes when technology makes it possible. Think about it. The iPhone gets number assignments every time a new model comes out. But, the third-generation iPad didn’t get a number. It is just being called, the new iPad, or even, just the iPad. It is possible that Apple doesn’t want to make new models every year, but just wants to focus on updating the device whenever necessary.

Honestly, this might be a good thing. Those of us who always buy new Apple products won’t have to break the bank twice per year to keep up.

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About Lory: Writer of all things app related, traveler of the space-time continuum, baker of really great cookies. Follow me @appaholik