DigiTimes reports, based on “sources in the upstream supply chain”, that a next-generation MacBook Pro with a Retina-capable display sporting a 2880-by-1800 resolution could arrive in the second quarter of 2012:

While the prevailing MacBook models have displays with resolutions ranging from 1680 by 1050 to 1280 by 800, the ultra-high resolution for the new MacBook Pro will further differentiate Apple’s products from other brands, commented the sources.

The report continues asserting that Acer and Asustek Computer also plan to launch high-end Ultrabook models sporting  the 1920-by-1080 pixel resolution displays versus the 1366-by-768 displays typically found on today’s Ultrabooks. The rumor might make sense as Intel’s upcoming Ivy Bridge platform natively supports displays with up to a 4096-by-4096 pixel resolution and is capable of decoding multiple 4K video streams at once. Lion also added support for 3200-by-2000 wallpapers, doubling icon resolution to 1024-by-1024 pixels and enabling HiDPI display modes.

Of course, Apple has also been rumored to adopt Retina Displays in the next-generation iPad, as first indicated back in June by high-resolution graphic assets found in the iOS 5 SDK. We also know they are working on a MacBook redesign around all-flash storage and the latest rumor has Apple attempting to acquire Israeli flash memory chip maker Anobit for as much as half a billion dollars. It remains to be seen whether ultra-high resolution display will trickle down to the MacBook Air or that rumored 15-inch MacBook model. We expect a 15-inch Retina Display won’t come cheap so it might make sense to use it on the flagship notebook family, the MacBook Pros, as the key differentiator.

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