Instead of launching an “iPad 3” so soon after the current model, rumor has it Apple is preparing an “iPad 2 Plus” for launch this fall.
This rumored product would be an iPhone 3GS-like update to the iPad 2. Analysts say this iPad’s display resolution would be 250-300 pixels per inch, up from the current pixel density of 132 ppi.
The “Retina display” on the iPhone 4 and 4th-gen iPod touch clocks in at 326 ppi.
With the iPad 2, Apple added numerous features to its tablet, including a faster A5 chip, better speakers and a 33 percent thinner case. However, rumors of an iPad 3 this fall have been circulating most of the year, as recently as a month ago.
This particular rumor doesn’t state that any other updates beyond the screen are on tap for this device. I’m not sure that Apple would release an update to one of its premiere products that boasted one upgrade over the previous version.
Others have suggested Apple is planning on selling this side-by-side with the iPad 2. I don’t think the company can fragment the line any more.
That aside, the issue of better screen resolution always brings up issues of app design. With the Retina display, Apple doubled the dimensions, making it easy for developers to re-work art within their applications. Bumping to anything besides “twice as large” could be more problematic for developers. Granted, I doubt Apple cares that much about this, since developers will surely just roll with the changes to stay up-to-date with the best-selling tablet on the market.