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. There’s no question that the iPad 3 is Plan B. They pushed amorphous silicon to a higher [pixels per inch] than anybody else. But the light throughput is not good. So it has roughly twice as many LEDs, and they had to get a 70 percent larger battery.
I’m curious as to what Apple will do once Sharp volume manufactures IGZO-based 9.7-inch Retina displays. Will Apple equip the new iPad with the improved display mid-cycle? That could happen. The iPad 2,4 with a 32nm Samsung-built A5 is reported to have better battery life, by a significant margin. If Apple decides to implement “Plan A” later this year we might either see the new iPad’s battery life improve quite a bit or have the same battery life with less weight. Either would be good.