Apple's intention to increase screen resolutions on its Mac hardware was signaled by the covert introduction of a HiDPI display mode with Lion earlier this year, and today we're hearing rumblings about the first laptops that may make use of it. DigiTimes reports that Apple is planning to launch new MacBook Pro models with 2880 x 1800 resolution — a quadrupling of the 1440 x 900 res that's currently standard on its 15-inch MBP — in the second quarter of 2012. This information comes from the usual upstream supply chain sources, whose reliability hasn't always been sterling.

Still, it makes sense when you consider that HiDPI is tantamount to the same quadrupling of pixels for UI elements that Apple executed with the iPhone when moving from 480 x 320 to 960 x 640 between the 3GS and 4 models. Moreover, Intel's Ivy Bridge processors have been shown to support 4k x 4k resolutions, so even without a discrete GPU Apple would be able to power the immensity of a 2880 x 1800 display.