Apple's iPad 3 may be a bit fatter than its predecessor (almost sacrilege in gadget design terms) but it's got a far better screen, which is one of the primary selling points. Yet, it may surprise you to learn that the iPad 3's screen could have been thinner - or at least, that was apparently the original plan.
President of DisplayMate Technologies, Raymond Soneira, has told CNET that - in the same way many view the iPhone 4S as a backup option to the originally hoped-for iPhone 5 - the iPad 3 was actually the inferior product too.
Ray says: "There's no question that the iPad 3 is Plan B. 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.”
If we're to put that into plain olde English for you, that is: Apple wanted to use Sharp's IGZO technology which would have been thinner but instead went with a different option that needed a bigger, heavier battery. Boooo.
As with all of these situations, we don't actually know if it's true - and Apple are hardly going to break the famous tight-lip policy to admit one of their flagship products actually could have been better, are they?