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Report: Claims of high-res screen in iPad 2 are 'too good to be true'


While evidence grows that Apple could place a high-resolution screen in its forthcoming second-generation iPad, a new report aims to pour "cold water" on those expectations.

John Gruber of Daring Fireball responded to claims of a potential "Retina Display" on the next iPad, as reports have suggested the device could have a 2048-by-1536-pixel resolution, quadruple that of the current iPad. But, he said, sources have told him those rumors are "too good to be true."

He said it's likely that the next iPad will retain a 1024-by-768-pixel resolution, though the display may be improved in other ways, such as brighter with less power consumption.

"Maybe it uses the new manufacturing technique Apple introduced with the iPhone 4 display, which brings the LCD closer to the surface of the touchscreen glass — making it look more like pixels on glass rather than pixels under glass," he wrote. "But my sources are pretty sure that it's not 2048 x 1536 or any other 'super high resolution.'"

Evidence of that high resolution came through the iPad's official iBooks application, which includes images designed for a higher resolution screen. Gruber speculated that those files could be the work of a user interface designer who is "thinking ahead," as sooner or later the iPad will get a higher resolution display.

"From what I've gathered about the iPad 2, it's more analogous to the iPhone 3GS than the 3G," he said. "Spec-wise, the iPhone 3G differed from the original iPhone in one significant way: the 3G networking support. The iPad 2 is more like the 3GS: faster support, more RAM, better graphics performance — but, like the 3GS, still the same display resolution as the original model."

As first reported by AppleInsider, the iPad 2 is expected to have improved graphics in the form of a dual-core SGX543 processor included on a new, custom processor from Apple. Regardless of whether the iPad 2 has a Retina Display, the successor to the A4 chip found in the iPad and iPhone 4 will likely be powerful enough to display at that resolution.

The SGX543 can push 35 million polygons per second at 200 Mhz and 1 billion pixels per second, and is capable of handling Apple's OpenCL standard. And the GPU supports multi-core configurations, which will allegedly allow Apple to utilize two cores in its next-generation mobile processor.