A few analysts are claiming that the new iPad was originally intended to be a thinner device, and that display technology constraints resulted in a thicker iPad.
According to Raymond Soneira, president and CEO of DisplayMate Technologies, the new iPad was supposed to use new technology in its design to ultimately make for a thinner iPad.
“The plan was to use this new technology called IGZO from Sharp – a lot higher electron mobility that allows them to make the transistors a lot smaller and the circuit elements a lot smaller,” Soneira said.
The new technology would allow more light through, reducing the amount of backlights needed, resulting in a thinner device. The problem was that Sharp didn’t have its IGZO display ready in time for the launch of the third generation iPad, at least not in the quantities Apple demanded. Apple instead went with Samsung display technology. Without IGZO, the new iPad needed more LED lights and a larger battery to power them. In the end, Apple went back to its vault and decided to come out with a slightly thicker iPad, which is about 1mm thicker than the iPad 2.