According to a new report, Apple is about to switch to Sharp’s IGZO LCD screens for its next iPhone and iPad, with thinner devices allowing to pack high-resolution low-power displays. A closer partnership with the company has allegedly resulted in an altered IGZO technology to provide screen resolution at 330 dots per inch. With IGZO, Apple will be able to build HD displays without having to use dual-bar LED backlighting and the IPS technology currently introduced in both devices for superior viewing angles.
On opinion of analyst Peter Misek, this should allow for several design advantages like thinner device, longer battery life and improved overall experience for users. Sharp’s IGZO panels will expectedly be added to the iPad 3 first. Due to a high capital commitment from the company, Apple will be able to purchase the displays at a lower price than initially expected.
Misek also believes that the technology would be utilized in the iPhone 5 featuring high-speed LTE 4G data, rumoured to come in 2012. Offering new-OLED power consumption while costing less and being only 25% thicker than OLED, the IGZO technology is ideal for Apple’s upcoming devices, the analyst wrote.
Earlier in November, rumours mentioned that Apple was seeking a new dual-LED backlight design for its third-gen iPad. As it was said, two LED light bars would be necessary to maintain the iPad’s current level of brightness with a higher density screen.
However, Misek thinks that the company could reach the same goal without adding two LED backlights by adopting Sharp’s IGZO technology instead. IGZO panel production for mobile devices started at Sharp’s Kameyama No. 2 plant in mid-2011.
The company has a bullish forecast for its technology and intends to ramp up production of IGZO LCD panels throughout 2012, with the new displays primarily used for tablet terminals. Misek further suggested that Sharp and Apple will develop OLED panels for the iPhone and iPad jointly, equipping the devices with those screens in the next two years. Sharp reportedly has a new technology “printing” an OLED panel onto a film which is subsequently deposited onto glass. The analyst expects the two companies to run line tests by the middle of 2012 and possibly begin production in 2013.
Initially, OLED displays are only rumoured to be added to Apple’s smaller portable devices such as the iPhone and iPad. Though expecting that the company will issue a full-fledged TV set in mid-2012, Misek noted that OLED technology won’t likely be ready for displays of a larger size until 2015.