Following speculation of a higher resolution “Retina Display” to be implemented in the next generation iPad (“iPad 2) that has surfaced in the past months, Daring Fireball’s John Gruber weighed in last night, claiming that according to his sources the iPad 2 won’t have a Retina Display:
I asked around, and according to my sources, it is too good to be true: the iPad 2 does not have a retina display. I believe the iPad 2’s display will remain at 1024 × 768. Its display may be improved in other ways — brighter, better power consumption, thinner, perhaps. 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. But my sources are pretty sure that it’s not 2048 × 1536 or any other “super high resolution”.
Gruber says the graphic assets found in iBooks months ago were just the result of a designer “thinking ahead” because “sooner or later, the iPad will get a retina display”. And when the Retina Display on the iPad will happen, Gruber is firmly convinced it will be a “2x” 2048x1536 display. iPad prototypes with such resolution are already being tested in Cupertino according to Gruber, but they are not the iPad 2.
Furthermore, Gruber says that, feature-wise, the iPad 2 will be more similar to the iPhone 3GS rather than the 2008 iPhone 3G:
From what I’ve gathered about the iPad 2, it’s more analogous to the iPhone 3GS than the 3G. Spec-wise, the iPhone 3G differed from the original iPhone in only one significant way: the 3G networking support. The iPad 2 is more like the 3GS: faster processor, more RAM, better graphics performance — but, like the 3GS, still with the same display resolution as the original model.
In the past weeks, Digg’s founder Kevin Rose also weighed in claiming that his sources confirmed the iPad would get a Retina Display, just to clarify in an update to his blog post that by “retina display” he meant a higher resolution screen. In the meantime, Engadget still cites their source as highly reliable and they believe the next-gen iPad will get a higher resolution screen, if not Retina.