Despite having a Retina display and internal advancements, the third generation iPad isn’t the one Apple originally wanted to release. Rather it was “Plan B,” according to CNET.

When the new iPad arrived in March, Apple’s marketing arm went into overdrive, detailing how “revolutionary” the company’s newest iPad was compared to the earlier model. What wasn’t mentioned was how the newer tablet actually took a step back versus the iPad 2, at least in terms of size. Going against “Jobsian philosophy,” the new iPad is thicker (by 0.03 inches) and heavier (0.11 pounds) than the iPad 2.

Now we’ve heard this wasn’t meant to be.

Gen 3 iPad on top; iPad 2 on bottom.

Gen 3 iPad on top; iPad 2 on bottom.

Originally, Apple was planning to release a thinner iPad using a new technology from Sharp called IGZO.

According to Raymond Soneira, founder, president, and CEO of DisplayMate Technologies:

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.

In short, “smaller transistors and circuit elements allow more light through and reduce the number of backlights needed, resulting in a thinner display assembly.”

What happened?

Sharp wasn’t able to produce their IGZO display in time. As such, Apple fell back to a more conventional amorphous silicon technology.

“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,” Soneira said, referring to today’s third-generation iPad.

Most likely, the design changes mentioned above will eventually arrive, mostly likely in the form of the iPad 4. In the meantime, we can all continue enjoying Apple’s “Plan B” iPad.

Have you noticed the new iPad is heftier than the iPad 2? Enough that it is causing you problems?