As I look at my iPad 2 sitting next to me, I wonder how a device with the same basic proportions could actually be thinner. Yet, the latest rumor says that Apple will forgo the IPS (in-plane switching) display for the iPad 3, instead favoring a Sharp-manufactured display that will be thinner and lower-powered than IPS can manage.
Sharp, as it turns out, is also at the top of the rumor list for the heavily expected iTV (Apple's television project hinted at by Steve Jobs biographer Walter Isaacson) as the primary display manufacturer.
Analyst Peter Misek claimed in the report published by Forbes that Apple has invested between $500 million and $1 billion in Sharp display technologies, effectively.
As we have seen from Apple historically, a thinner device with better batter life and a better overall experience for users would far outweigh adding an unproven technology like IPS just to have it on the market before its competitors.
My money is on history for this rumor. While the promise of IPS providing a top-notch display experience is exciting, the potential battery drain is worrisome, especially if it would make the iPad 3 thicker (as earlier reports have indicated). One of the best features of the iPad 2 in my mind is its extraordinary battery life, something neither I nor Apple would likely compromise in favor of some wiz-bang technology.
Would you rather see the iPad 3 with IPS or Sharp's modified IGZO technology? Let me know your opinion in the comments!