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Suppliers rumored to ship 6M-7M next-gen iPad LCD panels this quarter

post #1 of 7
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Apple's suppliers are reportedly scheduled to ship between six to seven million high-resolution panels for the next-generation iPad in the first quarter of 2012 as production ramps up ahead of an expected March launch.

According to a report from DigiTimes, Sharp and LG Display will serve as suppliers of 9.7-inch QXGA panels for the third-generation iPad, which is widely believed to feature double the resolution of its predecessor. Taiwan-based supply chain makers told the publication that shipments of the new panels will surpass those used in the iPad 2 by the second quarter of 2012.

Sources said one million of the high-resolution panels had been shipped to Apple in the fourth quarter, followed by six to seven million panels in the first quarter. According to the report, 10 million panels will be shipped in the third quarter of 2012.

Apple reportedly has been decreasing shipments of iPad 2 panels as it prepares for the transition to the so-called "iPad 3." Shipments of the current-generation panels are said to have reached a peak of 16 million in the third quarter of 2011 and were adjusted to 10 million in the fourth quarter. First quarter shipment numbers are expected to be in the range of seven to eight million units.

"Thus, the shipment volume of panels for use in the new version of iPad will surpass that of iPad 2 panels in the second quarter of 2012, the sources noted," the report read.

Tipsters went on to point out that an estimated 40 million panels for the new iPad will be supplied in 2012, compared to an estimated 25 million for the iPad 2 this year.

DigiTimes' claim that Sharp will serve as a panel supplier for Apple's third iPad has been disputed by some. A Korean newspaper asserted last week that Sharp had failed in its initial supply of high-resolution panels, leaving Samsung and LG to pick up the slack.

Apple and Sharp are believed to have formed a close partnership over a next-generation LCD display technology called IGZO will reportedly make its way into future mobile devices from the company. It has been suggested that the technology could arrive as early as this spring with the next iPad.

Recent rumors have put forth March as the expected launch month for the "iPad 3." According to a report from Bloomberg last week, the new iPad could feature support for 4G LTE and a quad-core processor.
post #2 of 7
Sharp either is or isn't making these new panels.
post #3 of 7
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

Recent rumors have put forth March as the expected launch month for the "iPad 3." According to a report from Bloomberg, the new iPad could feature support for 4G LTE and a quad-core processor.

Wait! Apple is working on a new iPad? Why didn't anyone tell us!!
Progress is a comfortable disease
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Progress is a comfortable disease
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post #4 of 7
I thought that the supporting hardware that would accompany the IGZO panel differs from the tech that would be needed to support one supplied by LG. Supposedly, there would be a need for two backlights if the LG panel was used and that would mean a different case design.

In addition, what possible reason would there be for Apple to expect the new iPad to dramatically outsell the current design. What possible cause for such a dramatic rise in sales could there be.

The other point to consider is that if one were to expect more sales, then one would presume that Apple is going to offer these products at an attractive price. The problem is, a high-resolution screen in a 9.7-inch size is not an inexpensive technology, not just yet. In addition, if the iPad 2 is expected to remain available for a while after the new model is available, wouldn't that mean fewer of the new versions sold, rather than dramatically more.

Totally off the rails, I think.

I think that the iPad Apple releases in March will be a solid upgrade but not a dramatic one featuring a major leap in resolution. Component manufacturers are not able to deliver at the right price the technology needed to bring out a Retina-like iPad at this time. Apple does not have a history of rushing products to market. Quite the opposite. There is no pressure from the competition to do so and millions of consumers seem perfectly happy with the iPad technology that is in the current version.

Are there advances that we'd all like to see? Always. But that has to be tempered by the realities of what Apple has available to it. Apple develops and sells innovative products but many of the individual components, like the display, found in those products are developed and supplied by other manufacturers. Until those partners are ready to deliver the components Apple needs, a design can't come to market, no matter how much Apple would love to spring said product on us.

Apple doesn't talk about upcoming products and is loving the free publicity generated by media stirring things up with wildly speculative rumours. Even though it can mean initial disappointment when anticipated tech fails to materialize, as long as the product is well-designed, it sells spectacularly well. The latest iPhone, for example, disappointment many initially but it has been a sales success because it is quite a capable device in absolute terms.

The next iPad will be lighter, with better battery life, sporting a faster processor, and an improved display but not one that increases resolution. The price for the iPad 3 will be $50 more than the current non-3G version but will include 3G for that price. In addition, the iPad 2 will soldier on at a discount, somewhere in the $400 range. Initially there will be much made of the fact that not possessing a Retina display, the new iPad will be perceived as a major letdown and then people will get their hands on the device, love it, and sales will be as robust as ever.

Look at it this way. If Apple can sell an iPad 3 minus the Retina display in the millions, maintaining a high profit margin, why would it, at this time, dramatically cut into profits by making the jump up in resolution. Apple is a company with shareholders dedicated in part to making those shareholders happy.
post #5 of 7
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Originally Posted by Bageljoey View Post

Wait! Apple is working on a new iPad? Why didn't anyone tell us!!


Anyway, television news articles are now stating as fact, supposedly per Apple themselves, that the next iPad arrives in March and does have hi-res "retina" display on a quad-core platform. I think they also said LTE but not absolutely positive.

I hadn't seen anything official, so perhaps I've missed it.
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post #6 of 7
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post


Anyway, television news articles are now stating as fact, supposedly per Apple themselves, that the next iPad arrives in March and does have hi-res "retina" display on a quad-core platform. I think they also said LTE but not absolutely positive.

I hadn't seen anything official, so perhaps I've missed it.

Apple is being set up. When the iPad 3 arrives with no Retina-style display, it will be characterized as a major fail on Apple's part. What utter nonsense. Such technology in a 9.7-inch screen is not ready for prime time. What part of this is so difficult to figure out.

Granted, it would be terrific if it turns out that Apple is ready to deliver such an upgrade but I don't think Apple is prepared to dramatically alter the iPad's price so if it's ready it has to be ready for the same cost as the low-resolution screen now offered on the iPad 2. Is this the case?
post #7 of 7
Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post

Sharp either is or isn't making these new panels.

Hmm, I think I found your problem:

Quote:
According to a report from DigiTimes...

Yup! Found it!
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