New iPad Looking Less Likely for Late 2011

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Now’s apparently a good time to stop holding out for the iPad 3 or iPad 2 HD that was rumored to arrive later this year. According to DigiTimes, Apple has canceled its plans to produce a high-resolution iPad in late 2011.

It’s not really fair to call this a delay because, well, Apple never announced anything. The product, which reportedly quadrupled the iPad 2’s pixel count at 2048-by-1536 resolution, only appeared in rumors.

(MORE: Report: High-Res ‘iPad HD’ for Video and Photo Pros This Year)

Last we heard, Apple was planning to position the next iPad as a high-end option for photo and video professionals. This is My Next had reported that Apple was going to bundle the hardware with iPad versions of pro editing software such as Final Cut or Aperture.

But DigiTimes, citing unnamed industry sources, says Apple couldn’t get a high enough yield rate — that is, the percentage of units that aren’t defective — for those high-resolution 9.7-inch displays from suppliers LG and Samsung, and Sharp’s displays are still too expensive. The sources also said that the higher-resolution displays require a larger backlight, which proved difficult to pull off within the iPad’s slim build.

This isn’t a huge setback for Apple. Last quarter, the company was “still selling every (iPad) we could make,” according to Chief Operating Officer Tim Cook. Apple finally caught up with demand earlier this month, when the shipping window for new iPads from the Apple Store dropped to within 24 hours. Even if Apple launched a high-resolution iPad this year, it probably wouldn’t have replaced the basic iPad 2.

Still, if Apple was really planning to launch an iPad designed for professionals, the company will now have to decide whether to launch it before or alongside the iPad 3 that will inevitably replace this year’s model. I’m sure there will be plenty more rumors on that front—along with additional rumors to refute those rumors, of course.

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