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Report: iPad 'HD' to sit alongside iPad 2

New report claims Apple plans to introduce an iPad later this year that will sport a "Retina Display," and will sit alongside existing iPad 2 models.

The Retina Display on Apple's iPhone 4.
The Retina Display on Apple's iPhone 4. Apple

Could Apple's iPad 2 soon be getting a better-looking sibling instead of a replacement? That's the new rumor.

Citing multiple anonymous sources, Joshua Topolsky over at This is my next says Apple's cooking up "a new entry into the iPad family" that will sport a 2,048x1,536 resolution screen and be called the "iPad HD." Topolsky says this device will sit alongside the existing iPad 2 model, which presumably will continue to be sold by Apple, with the HD model being akin to a high-end Apple MacBook.

"The idea behind the product is apparently that it will be a 'pro' device aimed at a higher-end market--folks who work in video and photo production possibly--and will be introduced alongside something like an iPad version of Final Cut or Aperture," Topolsky suggests.

That Apple would break a product category into multiple tiers does not seem like much of a stretch. But if the crowning new feature of this device is just a better screen, that could be a hard sell to existing iPad 2 buyers, and could also potentially cannibalize sales of that device. Apple already has 18 different variations of the iPad 2, accounting for color, capacity, and 3G wireless networking options. Assuming that same configuration was placed on an "HD" line, that could quickly confuse the situation even more.

This is not the first such report of an iPad in the works with a higher-quality display. Word of a new iPad being delivered this year cropped up late last week. DigiTimes noted that Apple was pulling together components for both a next-generation iPhone and an iPad sporting a so-called "Retina Display" with noticeably higher pixel density, though lower than what can be found on the iPhone 4 and latest-generation iPod Touch.

Alongside the iPad HD rumor, Topolsky weighs in on The Wall Street Journal's report from yesterday about the next iPhone, noting that the same sources on the iPad HD say there will indeed be a new iPhone design delivered "in the fall." The site also reiterates previously laid claims about Apple's "iPhone 4S" sporting iPhone 5 components, something Apple was said to be testing out with select game developers back in April.

Apple released its most recent version, the iPhone 4, more than a year ago and the wait for a new iPhone continues. You can keep track of some of the biggest Apple rumors over at CNET's iPhone 5 rumor roundup, which we've been updating on a regular basis.