The Wall Street Journal is reporting that the next generation of Apple's iPad will use the same display technology that makes the iPad mini so thin and light. According to "people with knowledge of the matter" the screens for the larger device are already being made by Asian suppliers.
The current iPad uses a glass-based touch panel, whereas teardowns have shown that the iPad mini uses a film-based screen to recognise user gestures.
That may sound like a subtle distinction, but film-based touchscreens are thinner and lighter than their glass counterparts, and in a bigger device the difference is even more pronounced. The quoted sources claim that it's the success of the iPad mini which has led to Apple to transfer the technology across into its larger sibling.
Thin film touch screens have been slowly becoming more established as their performance has improved to equal that of glass equivalents. It seems like a fairly natural progression to include the technology in the full-size iPad, given it already appears in the iPhone iPad mini — but it's far from certain that it's definitely the case.
It's unclear when the next iteration of iPads will be announced — their release schedule has become less predictable of recent time — but there's a slim chance they may make an appearance at an event on September 10. Maybe. Possibly. But don't hold your breath. [Wall Street Journal]