Apple's iPad 3 is rumored to have retina display, or so many pixels per square inch that the naked eye can't see them -- but if it follows the iPhone 4S formula of 326 pixels per inch -- no display manufacturer has ever created such a dense tablet display.
The closest manufacturers LG and Samsung have come is 264 ppi, which is about twice that of the current iPad 2, according to CNET. Many would argue that a higher density is unnecessary because few people hold an iPad closer than 12 inches from their face. But even at 264 ppi, producing millions of them for a company like Apple (as well as for their own product lines) is probably not going to be possible, an unnamed source told CNET.
"They have production plans for 2,048x1,536 displays. Starting in November. But those are only plans at this point," said the source, referring to LG and Samsung. "It's not a question of making just one. That, of course, can be done. The challenge is making lots of them," the source said. "This is a quantum leap in pixel density. This hasn't been done before."
The only other possibility is for manufacturers to create an interim option with less pixels per square inch. But we have a feeling that Apple won't find that an appealing option.
The iPad 3 is supposed to come out early next year, but if suppliers are already pointing out logistical problems, Apple may have to delay its new device so it can create a product that exceeds consumer expectations.