Rumors of a retina-display 2048×1536 iPad 3 have been circulating with increasing frequency in recent days, with a report coming in on Monday of a new, thicker form factor to support Apple’s iPad 3 dual-bar lighting system.

This report was backed up by further claims that a 2048×1536 resolution iPad that had already gone into production, with the new display being manufactured by Sharp, LG and Samsung Electronics and a release date penned for Summer of 2012.

Jeffries analyst Peter Misek has weighed in on the rumors, with a report posted by Forbes stating that Apple has in fact invested in the range of $0.5 – 1 billion in new technology that will allow Sharp to produce a display that is both higher in resolution and thinner.

Also, we believe that Apple and Sharp together have a modified IGZO (indium, gallium, zinc) technology to achieve 330 dpi, which is sufficient for an HD display while not using IPS nor having to include dual-bar LED backlighting. In our view, this should lead to several design advantages, namely the device can be thinner, battery life should be longer, and the overall experience for users should be meaningfully improved.

The report goes on to mention that Apple may also be partnering with Sharp to supply displays for the much-rumored Apple television sets.

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