Rumors of an iPad with an unbelievably high-resolution screen have been bobbing around since earlier this year, with some of the initial scuttlebutt being that such a screen would find its way into the iPad 2.
The problem was that a 9.7-inch screen with a 2048×1536 resolution (the current iPad’s screen resolution is 1024×768) would not only be hard to pull off from a manufacturing standpoint but, more importantly, the screen itself would be so expensive that it’d be impossible to hit the $500 starting point pegged to the consumer versions of the iPad.
Rumors of an iPad with a 2048×1536 resolution screen have resurfaced and, while the manufacturing process for such a screen may have gotten easier, the price of such a screen would likely still be prohibitively high for a consumer product. So what do you do if you’re Apple? Position the device as a professional product.
“Our sources are saying that not only will there be a newly designed iPhone coming in the fall, but there is going to be a new entry into the iPad family as well. As hard as it might be to believe, the new tablet is said to sport a double resolution screen (2048 x 1536), and will be dubbed the ‘iPad HD.’ The idea behind the product is apparently that it will be a ‘pro’ device aimed at a higher end market — folks who work in video and photo production possibly — and will be introduced alongside something like an iPad version of Final Cut or Aperture. This product is specifically said to not be the iPad 3, rather a complimentary piece of the iPad 2 line. Think MacBook and MacBook Pro.”
That “think MacBook and MacBook Pro” snippet is the key here. If the rumors are true—and, again, these are rumors—we may be looking at two classes of iPad; one for consumers and one for professionals. Apple is expected to hold a big press event in September, so we’ll see if the rumors pan out then.