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Sources from Apple's supply chain have claimed that there will be two versions of the new iPad, one targeting the high-end segment and the other the mid-range. Digitimes Research believe the two new iPad models will both be equipped the A6 processor with high-end model coming with a high resolution panel (2048x1536) and the mid-tier model featuring the same grade of panel as iPad 2 (1024x768).
So current iPad2 would be the entry level ipad with more powerful and higher resolution iPads being the high end.
 

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I'm still skeptical of such a high resolution screen. First, is there need for such resolution at this screen size, and second how are they going to manage performance and battery life with it?
 

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Doubling the resolution makes sense, to differentiate from the cheap Android tablets... On the software side, it's transparent to the developers as they'd just use the same technic as the "retina display" on the iPhone 4. They will likely gain performance/battery lifetime by going to newer chip and such, so the iPad 2S makes sense too...
 

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I really don't see them producing such a high resolution display (yet). Other than a few photos, everything else will just have to be scaled to fit the resolution, so this would just be a waste of cpu/gpu cycles and obviously a detriment to battery life. Perhaps a display up to HD, but not as high as these rumoured ones.
 

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Disagree. They'll either double the resolution or keep it the same. Pixel-doubling is the most efficient way of displaying current apps on a higher-resolution screen.
 

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Actually pixel quadrupling!

I'm skeptical of whether the benefits of more pixels will outweigh the potential performance hit but it would be quite impressive if they can pull it off.
 

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I don't really see the need/benefit yet

there's no source material (other than digital photos) that approaches that resolution yet
 

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The screen size is large enough to display 1080p/i video (which is 1920x1080) so it is not like the pixels are hugely wasted - at least not on the horizontal - the device is only about 5% wider than 1920 in terms of pixels. The main issue would be that you would have a letterboxed picture for most video content. The rumours are that this might be slightly thicker to accomodate the battery.

@TorontoColin - look at the product proliferation in the iPod line where you have four versions:Shuffle, Nano, Touch and Classic.
 

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The iPhone 4 has a pixel density of 326 PPI. The current iPads are at 132 PPI. The unaided human eye can generally distinguish detail up to 300 PPI. If my calculations are correct, the proposed higher-resolution iPads will have 264 PPI so any displayed text will definitely look better.
 

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@TorontoColin - look at the product proliferation in the iPod line where you have four versions:Shuffle, Nano, Touch and Classic.
But those are very different devices with different form factors. This would be more like if they had two iPod Touches with different screen resolutions.

Apple's strategy in the past has always been to add a new model and then continue to manufacture their old model as the cheapest version. They did this with the iPod Touch, with the 8GB model. They did it with the iPhone 3GS after the iPhone 4 launch, and the iPhone 4 after the iPhone 4S launch. However, I can't remember the last time (if ever) they simultaneously launched two devices in the same line with different specs beyond storage capacity.

The iPhone 4S launched with the A5 processor, but Apple continued to manufacture the iPhone 4 with the A4. I just think it's far more likely that Apple launches an iPad 3 with an A6 processor then continues to sell a 16 GB iPad 2.

The only way I can see this two new model approach happening is if they launch a second model line of iPads, like they have done with iPods in the past. They could deviate from the past, but generally Apple doesn't seem inclined to fragment their iOS products.
 
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