Pouring cold water on reports that Apple intends to launch the next version of the iPad this year, a new report says the company has yet to hit the trial production phase of the device.
The Wall Street Journal reported today that Apple is still in the process of pulling together parts from various vendors for a trial production of the device, which the Journal says is expected to begin sometime in October. A release is said to follow sometime early next year.
Previous reports hinted that Apple might surprise with a new model in time for this year's holiday-shopping season.
One point of note from the Journal's report is that Apple is, in fact, planning to offer a so-called Retina Display. That's a panel with a pixel density high enough that the human eye can't make out pixels on items like text and rounded corners. For the iPad, that means the screen size remains the same as it's been in the first two models, except with double the resolution, or 2,048x1,536 pixels. Apple first introduced Retina Displays to its own products with the iPhone 4, and it has since filtered down to the latest generation iPod Touch as well.
The news follows a report last month by The Korea Times saying both Samsung and LG were vying to produce higher-resolution display panels for Apple's iPad follow-up. A report from DigiTimes earlier this week claimed neither company was reaching good enough yields of the display, which it said was keeping Apple from delivering a new version of the device this year.
A release early next year would coincide with the launch schedules of the previous two devices. The original iPad was launched on April 3, 2010, with its successor arriving less than a year later on March 2, 2011.