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Next iPad to double up on backlight tech, report says

Apple's next iPad could be brighter than its last two models, in part to better illuminate a higher-resolution display. A new report says Apple is in the process of choosing between two types of backlighting technology to get the job done.

Apple's iPad. Josh P Miller/CNET

Apple could be making some changes to the way it lights up the panel on its next iPad, according to a new report.

Citing sources, component news site DigiTimes reported today that Apple is contemplating the move to to a more complex backlighting system to better serve a higher-resolution display.

The outlet suggests once again that Apple is going with a high-resolution 2,048x1,536-pixel display in its next iPad, and will need a new lighting system to "maintain or strengthen the brightness of the panels." By comparison, Apple's first- and second-generation iPads shipped with a 1,024x768-pixel display.

As a result, vendors of the backlighting technology are reportedly offering two options: doubling up the number of LED chips on the existing iPad setup, or using a new system that has two separate sets of LED chips on each bar. DigiTimes says Apple is "likely" to go with the latter.

The move is of note since displays are one of the big chewers up of battery life on mobile devices, and the addition of a more powerful system suggests a potentially faster drain on the battery. The iPad is currently Apple's heavyweight when it comes to battery life on its portables, with a system that can do 10 hours of Web browsing, versus 9 hours on its latest iPhone, despite the difference in display size.

Apple is expected to launch its next iPad early next year, with a higher-resolution display and possibly a new type of dock connector that would be smaller than Apple's standard 30-pin design. The higher-resolution display was a rumored feature of the iPad 2, but the device was unveiled without the technology, which as recently as last month, was said to be proving to be a challenge to manufacture.