Larry Mozdzyn and Michael Rudolph writing for Information Display (PDF):
Smart phones, tablet PCs, ultra-thin TVs, laptop computers â€“ they have all pushed the optical bonding process out of the shadows and into the mainstream. Once a specialty process, optical bonding is now critical to many of todayâ€™s most popular electronic devices.
I was under the impression that optical bonding has been limited to small displays, like the 3.5-inch Retina Display on the iPhone 4. It turns out optical bonding can be scaled to 82 inches. Optical lamination is another term used for optical bonding. From iPhone 4:
A process called optical lamination was employed that laminates Corningâ€™s Gorilla cover glass directly on the display. This improves sharpness and clarity of the display by eliminating light refraction, which is caused by the small distance between the glass surface and the LCD that exists on pre-4 iPhones.
It would be surprising if Apple doesn’t optically bond the cover glass to the LCD on the next iPad.