Sharp rumored to provide IGZO displays for Apple's next iPhone, iPad

Posted:
in iPhone edited January 2014
A new report claims that Apple will turn to Sharp and switch to new IGZO LCD panels for both its next iPad and iPhone, allowing for thinner devices packing high-resolution displays with low power consumption.



A closer partnership with Sharp is said to have resulted in modified IGZO -- or indium, gallium, zinc -- technology to reach 330 dots-per-inch screen resolution, according to analyst Peter Misek with Jeffries. Sharp's IGZO technology is expected to allow Apple to offer a high-definition display without using the IPS technology currently featured in the iPhone or iPad for superior viewing angles, nor will it necessitate dual-bar LED backlighting.



"In our view, this should lead to several design advantages, namely the device can be thinner, battery life should be longer, and the overall experience for users should be meaningfully improved," Misek wrote in a note to investors this week.



IGZO panels are expected to initially appear in Apple's third-generation iPad. Misek said that Apple will be able to obtain the panels at a lower-than-expected price due to a high capital commitment from the company to Sharp.



He also expects that the technology would be featured in a new sixth-generation iPhone featuring high-speed long-term evolution 4G data, expected to arrive in 2012.



"The IGZO technology is perfect in that it offers near-OLED power consumption while having a lower cost and thinness that is only 25% greater than OLED, based on our checks," Misek wrote.



Earlier this month, rumors indicated that Apple was looking for a new dual-LED design to serve as a backlight for its third-generation iPad. Two LED light bars were said to be necessary to maintain the tablet's existing level of brightness with a higher density display.



But Misek believes that Apple could achieve that same goal without the need for two LED backlights by adopting Sharp's IGZO technology. Sharp began producing IGZO panels for mobile devices at its Kameyama No. 2 plant in the middle of its 2011 fiscal year.



Sharp has a bullish forecast for its for IGZO technology, and plans to ramp up production of LCD panels with the new technology accordingly throughout 2012. The primary use for IGZO displays, Sharp has said, will be for "tablet terminals."







Going forward, Misek said he also believes Apple and Sharp will jointly develop OLED panels for the iPhone and iPad, and those displays could appear in devices in the next two years. Sharp is said to have a new technology that "prints" an OLED panel onto a film that is then deposited onto glass.



"The yield improvements have been enormous and have enabled some trial runs to produce commercial yields," he wrote. "We expect Sharp/Apple to have a line testing this by the middle of 2012 with 2013 output possible."



At first, OLED displays are only expected to appear in Apple's smaller portable devices like the iPhone and iPad. Though Misek expects that Apple will release a full-fledged television set in mid-2012, he said OLED technology will likely not be ready for larger sized displays until 2015.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 40
    Sharp is one of the best - and largest - in the LCD panel industry so I would assume that it is also a clever move to get away from Samsung. My only concern is that Samsung is stronger in the OLED area and OLED is going to be the display technology of the future (not Super AMOLED with pentile, no). Apple was rumored to have invested a lot in LG's OLED research a few years back and LG is one of the frontrunnres in this area as well, but that all happended before the Samsung clash.



    Sharp should be able to convert some of their existing LCD factories to OLED factories over time but not in the next 1-2 years.
  • Reply 2 of 40
    "...thinness that is only 25% greater than..." -Peter Misek



    As technology improves our language is getting closer to a series of grunts.
  • Reply 3 of 40
    "Analyst" Peter Misek makes things up and AppleInsider calls it a report, like it's got some weight of authority? They're paid bloggers extrapolating wildly from some other supply chain rumors. Misek's expectations for future Apple products are only slightly less informed than the "analysts" that kept promising the so-called iPhone 5 with aluminum back that wasn't to be.



    Don't waste your time thinking there is any validity.

    The next products appear when they do. Anything less than another prototype being lost in a bar around Cupertino, we won't know until Phil Schiller tells us what it's got. And that's good enough for me. I'm happy with my current Apple stuff until then.
  • Reply 4 of 40
    drdoppiodrdoppio Posts: 1,132member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


    A new report claims that Apple will turn to Sharp and switch to new IGZO LCD panels for both its next iPad and iPhone, allowing for thinner devices packing high-resolution displays with low power consumption.



    A closer partnership with Sharp is said to have resulted in modified IGZO -- or indium, allium, zinc -- technology to reach 330 dots-per-inch screen resolution, according to analyst Peter Misek with Jeffries. Sharp's IGZO technology is expected to allow Apple to offer a high-definition display without using the IPS technology currently featured in the iPhone or iPad for superior viewing angles, nor will it necessitate dual-bar LED backlighting.

    ...



    The Onion proudly presents...
  • Reply 5 of 40
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by DrDoppio View Post


    The Onion proudly presents...



    Now that is funny!
  • Reply 6 of 40
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by DrDoppio View Post


    The Onion proudly presents...



    Maybe it's a combination of ALL the elements. Allium.
  • Reply 7 of 40
    drdoppiodrdoppio Posts: 1,132member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Doctor David View Post


    Maybe it's a combination of ALL the elements. Allium.



    Then it would have been "omnium".
  • Reply 8 of 40
    wigginwiggin Posts: 2,265member
    Except for one vague reference on one of the graphics, not a single word about the quality of these displays? A device that's a tiny bit thinner would not make up for poor display quality (color, viewing angle, etc).



    Anyone knowledgable on how IGZO image quality compares to the other options?
  • Reply 9 of 40
    Goodbye Samsung?
  • Reply 10 of 40
    solipsismxsolipsismx Posts: 19,566member
    I always worry about these new low-power display technologies. They seem take something important need for good picture reproduction when they are first introduced.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Doctor David View Post


    "...thinness that is only 25% greater than..." -Peter Misek



    As technology improves our language is getting closer to a series of grunts.



    Luckily for us Siri will be able to able to parse these grunts in the near future.
  • Reply 11 of 40
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Doctor David View Post


    Maybe it's a combination of ALL the elements. Allium.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by DrDoppio View Post


    Then it would have been "omnium".



    Allium, or omnium, would only include all the metals and not all the elements.
  • Reply 12 of 40
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by DrDoppio View Post


    Then it would have been "omnium".



    Ya, that seems cromulent.
  • Reply 13 of 40
    neilmneilm Posts: 612member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by johnnielse View Post


    OLED is going to be the display technology of the future



    Or as I keep pointing out to a friend of mine who has an obsession with it, OLED is the display technology of the future and it always will be.
  • Reply 14 of 40
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by johnnielse View Post


    ... My only concern is that Samsung is stronger in the OLED area and OLED is going to be the display technology of the future...



    OLED has been "... the display technology of the future ..." for some decades now.



    This is far from a sure thing.



    Anyway is looks like Apple is slowly absorbing Sharp as Sharp is linking up with Foxcon and will be producing displays almost exclusively for Apple in the near future including the rumoured 60 and 70 inch TV sets.



    The patent Apple showed recently for an LCD panel with an OLED backlight is even more interesting than this technology and could easily beat out the next generation of pure OLED screens also. I don't see any reason to think that OLED will take over from the clearly still superior LCD for at least a couple of generations.



    Baring any new OLED breakthroughs, it looks more like OLED might not be "the technology of the future," for at least another 5 or 6 years more still.
  • Reply 15 of 40
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by NeilM View Post


    Or as I keep pointing out to a friend of mine who has an obsession with it, OLED is the display technology of the future and it always will be.



    The same way holographic hard drives are always seemingly 5 years out. I have a computer shopper magazine from the mid 90s w/an article about that tech being 5 years out. Read another article about it last year. You guessed it, we're just 5 years away from it!
  • Reply 16 of 40
    irnchrizirnchriz Posts: 1,588member
    Another analyst spouting pie in the sky. Nuff said.
  • Reply 17 of 40
    sennensennen Posts: 1,465member
    Sharp have always had the best quality screens for keitai (mobile phones) in Japan. If true, this is a great move.
  • Reply 18 of 40
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by stelligent View Post


    Allium, or omnium, would only include all the metals and not all the elements.



    Ok, sure. Fine. If anyone needs me I'll be raking umbrage.
  • Reply 19 of 40
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Wiggin View Post


    Anyone knowledgable on how IGZO image quality compares to the other options?



    I think a-IGZO only replaces a-Si. The choice of liquid crystal switching mechanism is still a free choice. So, I suppose they can keep using the IPS mechanism if they like. In other words, the quality of display will not decrease. It can only increase because the IGZO will not block as much light as the a-Si does. The screen will be brighter with the same back light.
  • Reply 20 of 40
    This could be a major cost gain for Apple.



    Sharp are actually able to reuse out of use large TV panel production lines so compared to IPS and OLED cost should be really tiny
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