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iPad 3 battery pointing to thinner, lighter tablet?

New report suggests the battery in the iPad 3 will be thinner and lighter, which could mean similar changes for the tablet itself.

Will the iPad 3 be thinner and lighter than its predecessor?
Will the iPad 3 be thinner and lighter than its predecessor? Apple

The battery in the iPad 3 will reportedly be thinner and lighter than the one in the iPad 2, according to a report in Taiwan Economic News, suggesting that the new tablet may also see a thinner, lighter design or other improvements.

Citing "institutional investors" as its sources, the Taiwanese news site reported yesterday that the new battery will not only be thinner and lighter but offer a longer life than the iPad 2's battery. The new battery will also need to meet higher standards for quality and reliability, which means that Apple's cost for it could shoot up by 20 to 30 percent.

Suppliers Simplo Technology and Dynapack International Technology will start to deliver the new battery pack to Apple during the fourth quarter and ramp up into full production in the first quarter of 2012, the news site said.

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How might the new battery affect the overall design of the iPad 3?

Boy Genius Report suggests that a thinner, lighter battery could mean Apple will make the iPad 3 even thinner than its predecessor, which has a depth of just .34 inches.

Or the new battery could give Apple the room it needs to add a Retina Display, BGR suggests further. Based on images found in the Software Development Kit for iOS 5 in June, some sources believe the next iPad will sport a 2,048x1,536 resolution Retina Display.

But analysts expecting a Retina Display on the next iPad say that Apple's suppliers are having a tough time due to manufacturing challenges and supply constraints. IHS iSuppli analyst Rhoda Alexander told CNET last month that a 9.7-inch tablet with 2,048x1,536 resolution "has been under development for some time," but that such a tablet is unlikely to debut before next year's first quarter as a result of the issues faced by suppliers.