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Apple may be squeezed by Retina Display shortage at 'iPad 3' launch

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It may take Apple more than a month to fully ramp up supply of its third-generation iPad, due to a rumored limited supply of high-definition Retina Displays, according to a new report.

Citing sources in Apple's supply chain, DigiTimes reported on Thursday that an "insufficient supply of high resolution displays" could restrict Apple from providing sufficient iPad supply at launch. The so-called "iPad 3" is expected to be introduced at an Apple media event in San Francisco next Wednesday.

Retina Displays for the next iPad will reportedly be supplied by Sharp, LG Display and Samsung Electronics. But it was said that the "whole supply chain has failed to substantially ramp up" supply of the high-resolution screens.

"As a result, iPad 2 will remain the mainstream in shipments in the most part of the first quarter before shipments of the iPad 3 start gaining momentum in the second quarter," the report said.

The same publication has also claimed that Apple plans to introduce a new 8-gigabyte iPad 2 as an entry-level model at next week's event. It was said that the lower-capacity iPad 2 would be priced between $349 and $399, and would be targeted to take away sales from devices like Amazon's $199 Kindle Fire.

Strangely, the DigiTimes report also reiterated its claims that the new iPad will come in 16- and 32-gigabyte versions, and made no mention of a 64-gigabyte iPad. That would be a change from the current iPad 2 lineup, which maxes out at 64 gigabytes.

The new third-generation iPad is expected to feature a QXGA Retina Display panel with a resolution of 2,048 by 1,536 pixels, amounting to 264 pixels per inch. That compares to the previous-generation iPad's 1,024-by-768 screen.

The new iPad is also expected to have 4G LTE connectivity for high-speed wireless data plans, along with improved cameras and a faster, custom ARM-based processor. In addition, the device is said to be slightly thicker than its predecessor, and there have been claims that the new iPad will feature Siri voice control like the iPhone 4S.