In April of 2010 Steve Jobs issued his famous Thoughts On Flash. Effectively daring Apple's would-be competitors to try and put out a tablet than ran Flash. The fact that more than a year later there still isn't a succesful competitor that runs Flash very well, marketing campaings notwithstanding, ought to make people in the computer biz think very carefully about trying to outsmart Apple. Which makes me wonder about the rumors surrounding "Retina" displays on an upcoming iPad. Could this be part of an Apple scheme to trick their competitors into squandering engineering resources and management attention on a product whose release is most likely years, rather than months, away? What actual evidence do we have for a "Retina" class display on an iPad 3? Answer: Some large images discovered in the Twitter framework of the iOS 5 SDK, and some rumors from dodgy Asian suppliers-to-suppliers. Its certainly possible that Apple screwed up, and that these big images got left in the SDK by mistake. But then again, Apple has been waging an ongoing battle with leaks, blogs, and rumor mills for a decade or more. And they have to know by now how each SDK release is going to be examined with a fine-tooth comb searching for hints about upcoming features. Wouldn't it be the easiest thing in the world for someone to quietly tell the people putting the SDK together to include a couple of oversized images, simply to sow panic and confusion amongpotential Apple rivals? Because if Apple's competitors become convinced that a "Retina" class iPad is coming out this fall or next spring, then they'll also think they'll be doomed if they start building Tablets that merely "match" the iPad's specs. And so they'll delay development of anything with resolution in the 768 x 1024 class, while their purchasing people go scurrying all over the Pacific rim looking for a supplier of 2048x1536 panels. Their engineers will look for ways of making the display chips and battery supplies handle that extra burden. I think it likely that, at some point, we'll see a higher resolution iPad display. But in the meantime its important to keep ONE number in mind: $500 Because if a Retina-class display takes the retail price of the entry-level iPad up to $600 or so, it won't happen. At a starting price of $600 and up, the iPad moves into a whole new consumer category. And it also would leave competitors, who are currently selling capable tablets at the $500 price point, room to undercut Apple. Most consumers would be hard-pressed to actually see a noticeable difference between a 768 x 1024 and a Retina panel. Apple certainly isn't in a hurry to give their competitors any advantages.