The Taiwanese publication cited industry sources Monday in saying "LCD vendors such as ViewSonic and Apple are set to launch 17-inch widescreen LCD monitors by year-end or the first quarter of 2007."
Those vendors expect 17-inch widescreen monitors to replace entry-level and middle-range 15-inch and 17-inch LCD monitors in the future, according to the report.
Prices for the new 17-inch widescreen displays are not expected to fetch a premium to 17-inch 4:3 aspect models due to more efficient panel cutting by makers, DigiTimes reported.
In support of the aforementioned claim, the publication also cited sources in saying a fifth-generation substrate from HannStar can be cut into fifteen 17-inch widescreen panels or fifteen 15-inch 4:3 conventional-sized panels.
Nevertheless, any move by Apple to reintroduce a 17-inch display would seem unusual given recent history. The Cupertino, Calif.-based company hasn't marketed a standalone 17-inch display since it began to phase out the 17-inch Studio Display in first half of 2004.
Since then, Apple has focused on high-definition models, introducing 23-inch and 30-inch HD models along the way. Its current Cinema Display line is comprised of a 20-inch model and two HD models, a 23 and 30-inch.
The last time Apple introduced new displays was in june of 2004, when it unveiled the 20-, 23- and 30-inch models in an aluminum design to match its professional desktop line of computers. The company reduced the cost of the displays several times (1, 2, 3) the following year but has since made no significant announcements related to display technology.