A Chinese language tabloid Apple Daily reported that Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) plans to launch upgraded 9.7-inch iPad this summer. Based on the information received from market watchers and its own sources, the tabloid reported that shipment volumes for iPad are likely to increase from September.
The upgraded version is rumored to feature indium gallium zinc oxide (IGZO) panel technology that would increase battery life and make the device even thinner. The paper also states that the panel technology for upgraded version will be supplied by Sharp, instead of Samsung.
As for the current iPad (called iPad 3 by many), two-third panels are supplied by Samsung, with the rest provided by Sharp and LG. Recently Foxconn Electronics, the manufacturer of iPads, made investments in Sharp. Therefore, the Apple Daily expects the proportion of Sharp to be greater for upgraded iPad.
The design of current iPad is slightly thicker and heavier than the iPad 2; therefore rumors of a thinner device seem believable. iPad 3 has curved edges, oleophobic scratch-proof glass and aluminium chassis; now it would be interesting to see the design of the upgraded device. The current iPad has 10 hours of battery life, and 9 hours if you use LTE. It’s pretty impressive, especially looking at the amount of battery consumed by the retina display to show all the pixels in right colors.
Though the claims of Apple Daily are not highly reliable as current iPad is just three months old, the report has created a buzz among component suppliers. It may also stimulate other tablet manufacturers to come up with their own tablet with similar features to compete Apple.