Apple validates 13-inch LED backlight units ahead of ultra-portable

Posted:
in Future Apple Hardware edited January 2014
Apple, which in January is expected to take the wraps off its slimmest and sleekest notebook in years, is reported to have placed orders for a new breed of 13.3-inch LED backlight units with production-ready quantities scheduled for delivery this month.



Citing "industry sources," Taiwanese rumor publication DigiTimes reports that Kenmos Technology and Taiwan Nano Electro-Optical Technology (Nano-Op) have both recently become suppliers of notebook-use LED backlight units (BLUs) for industry heavyweights Dell and Apple, with shipments to each supplier expected to soar in the near-term.



Specifically, Nano-Op is said to have already started shipping 12.1-inch notebook LED BLUs to Dell via AU Optronics, while its 13.3-inch LED notebook BLUs have since been validated by Apple.



"The sources disclosed that Nano-Op's LED notebook BLU shipments in November were only about 10,000 units, but Apple orders are expected drive up shipments to over 90,000 units in December," the report claims.



Of interest, DigiTimes notes that the component shipments to both Dell and Apple are "for high-end models," reinforcing assumptions that the Mac maker's upcoming streamlined notebook will fall somewhere between its existing 13-inch consumer MacBooks and its 15- and 17-inch professional MacBook Pro models.



Though often referred to as an 'ultra-portable,' the upcoming Apple notebook design was revealed by AppleInsider earlier this year to have been built around a 13.3-inch LED backlit display, rather than 12.1-inch display or one smaller. The 13.3-inch LED BLU orders mentioned by DigiTimes are expected serve an initial manufacturing ramp of the notebook early next year.



DigiTimes in its report added that Kenmos' shipments of LED notebook BLUs to PC manufacturers will reach an estimated 300,000 units in the first quarter of 2008. No expectations were listed for Nano-Op's shipments.



Apple is expected to use a keynote presentation by chief executive Steve Jobs on January 15th to introduce its new 13.3-inch notebook.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 108
    g3prog3pro Posts: 669member
    Question... What's the difference between a MacBook and an ultra portable?



    If you read AI... nothing!
  • Reply 2 of 108
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


    Apple, which in January is expected to take the wraps off its slimmest and sleekest notebook in years, is reported to have placed orders for a new breed of 13.3-inch LED backlight units with production-ready quantities scheduled for delivery this month.



    13.3" seems way too big for the sub-notebook market

    - they need to go to 12", 10", 8" to get a foothold in the Japanese market, I think

    - I don't see what's so hard about this

    - everyone else has managed to do it for years.



    Also, I would have thought that the sub-notebook market was an ideal market for Apple, as the sort of apps needed for this market are readily available on MacOS (i.e. Office, Internet etc)

    - for more serious apps, you probably need a larger screen anyway.



    At 13.3" this will be a useful addition to the Macbook Pro range (and while they're at it they should do a 15.4" MacBook), but it doesn't really open up a new category for Apple.
  • Reply 3 of 108
    desarcdesarc Posts: 642member
    a macbook is useful for doing actual work, an ultraportable is useful for watching movies, surfing the net and writing nothing larger than you would in a text message. they have a blackberry keyboard on steroids.



    i'll be happy if Apple doesn't come out with a UMPC but instead continues to create the best looking notebook computers anywhere. 2/3" thick, ssd, EXTERNAL optical drive. yummy.
  • Reply 4 of 108
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by samurai1999 View Post


    13.3" seems way too big for the sub-notebook market

    - they need to go to 12", 10", 8" to get a foothold in the Japanese market, I think

    - I don't see what's so hard about this

    - everyone else has managed to do it for years.



    Also, I would have thought that the sub-notebook market was an ideal market for Apple, as the sort of apps needed for this market are readily available on MacOS (i.e. Office, Internet etc)

    - for more serious apps, you probably need a larger screen anyway.



    At 13.3" this will be a useful addition to the Macbook Pro range (and while they're at it they should do a 15.4" MacBook), but it doesn't really open up a new category for Apple.



    For the last time, that's not the reason sales in Japan are down. People in Japan simply aren't buying computers like they used to. It's not high on their priority lilst.
  • Reply 5 of 108
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by samurai1999 View Post


    At 13.3" this will be a useful addition to the Macbook Pro range (and while they're at it they should do a 15.4" MacBook), but it doesn't really open up a new category for Apple.



    I think a 15.4 sub $1,000 dollar MacBook would be a new category for Apple. Everyone else is selling theirs like hotcakes.
  • Reply 6 of 108
    maestro64maestro64 Posts: 4,910member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by g3pro View Post


    Question... What's the difference between a MacBook and an ultra portable?



    If you read AI... nothing!



    The prevailing thought is it will shed things like the optical drive, a few i/o ports and maybe have solid state storage of about 32 to 64 gigs. If this what they do, then having a 13in display that is less then 1in thick and around 3 or so pounds makes is ultra portable.



    Going after the Japan market is not Applies primary market space, They will never totally crack that nut just like no outside company will.
  • Reply 7 of 108
    buckbuck Posts: 293member
    Quote:

    People in Japan simply aren't buying computers like they used to.



    Why are they not buying computers like they used to? What's wrong? What about companies?
  • Reply 8 of 108
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Fishyesque View Post


    For the last time, that's not the reason sales in Japan are down. People in Japan simply aren't buying computers like they used to. It's not high on their priority lilst.



    They aren't buying them because the manufacturers are not making what the consumers want and then complain that the market is sluggish. My friend down at the local computer shop says there are many inquiries, but the machines are too big, lack functions and are over-priced. They look at cell phones and say why can't the computer be smaller and more functional like my cell phone?
  • Reply 9 of 108
    satchmosatchmo Posts: 2,699member
    My guess is that this simply won't be a mid-range laptop that bridges the two lines.



    Instead, it'll be a new category in the "tablet" vein. Apple has let the tablet market die off and will claim it's demise has been a result of poor implementation...until now (heard this spin before?).
  • Reply 10 of 108
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Bergermeister View Post


    They aren't buying them because the manufacturers are not making what the consumers want and then complain that the market is sluggish. My friend down at the local computer shop says there are many inquiries, but the machines are too big, lack functions and are over-priced. They look at cell phones and say why can't the computer be smaller and more functional like my cell phone?



    I don't live in Japan, but last time I was there, I certainly got the impression, that while quite a few electronics stores carried the Apple range, they just seemed way out of line with what the other makers were offering - i.e. very small range of laptops

    - I think the Japanese are quite open to Apple products, and the iPods do quite well there

    - but the computer range is not what the average Japanese consumer is after.



    - a lot of people end up with a 10" Vaio or equivalent.



    - it's interesting that the store-guy says that even the Japanese companies aren't making what the consumer wants.



    - what do think they would buy? - a grown up iTouch/iPhone with a 4.5" or 6.5" screen?

    - that would be ultra-portable
  • Reply 11 of 108
    asciiascii Posts: 5,941member
    They must be bringing back the baby Macbook pro. That's great I think it was the best one really.
  • Reply 12 of 108
    bageljoeybageljoey Posts: 1,917member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by polvadis View Post


    I think a 15.4 sub $1,000 dollar MacBook would be a new category for Apple. Everyone else is selling theirs like hotcakes.



    Are they making any money?
  • Reply 13 of 108
    I'll try to find the article for you guys about the Japanese market.
  • Reply 15 of 108
    The business guys still want and need an ultraportable. Just asked my wife, who is a workaholic senior manager at a large company who regularly attends meetings where everyone is clamoring for something more powerful than the cell phone (and easier to type on quickly) but smaller, lighter and cheaper than your average laptop. She wants something the size of a DVD tall case (about 8.5 inches diagonal), no optical drive, flash, no HD, long battery life. The screen needs to flip over to fit snug atop the device to allow direct touch interaction in cramped quarters (a commuter train in Tokyo does not have much elbow room) and to allow it to be used for presentations. Yeah, and it needs a digital TV tuner like her cell phone has, and a camera, and a LAN cable, and an HDMI output for presentations on the company's big plasma screen TV.



    She is currently considering the Kohjinsha, which costs a mere 1000 bucks, because there is nothing else out there.



    http://www.kohjinsha.com.sg/products/outline-sa.htm
  • Reply 16 of 108
    Let's hope that Apple does this right.
  • Reply 17 of 108
    Personally, I just bought a Palm TX with an external folding keyboard so that I can sit and type practically anywhere (I can even doodle in color and with layers). The TX and the keyboard both fit nicely in the extra space in my camera bag so I can have my camera and my office with me at all times. Total volume is about 3 iPod videos. I barely notice the weight, either. Apple is not in the market of making folding keyboards, though.



    If the 13 inch rumor is true, then I hope we will see a return of the Duo: a light portable unit that has the basics and a powerful base station to plug into when you get home.
  • Reply 18 of 108
    jasenj1jasenj1 Posts: 922member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by desarc View Post


    a macbook is useful for doing actual work, an ultraportable is useful for watching movies, surfing the net and writing nothing larger than you would in a text message. they have a blackberry keyboard on steroids.



    The few folks I know who have ultraportables use a dock with an external monitor, keyboard, etc. whenever they can. The built-in screen is for field work, or in airplanes, and such. So while the complaint that an ultraportable's screen is too small for "actual work" is valid, people do as little "actual work" on the ultraportable as possible - for "actual work" they dock it.



    I think 13.3" is too big for a true ultraportable, but if Apple can make it thin, light, and strong enough, and couple it with a powerful docking station, they may have a winner.



    - Jasen.
  • Reply 19 of 108
    asciiascii Posts: 5,941member
    I can't see Apple making an UMPC... just too gimmicky. Unless maybe it was also some kind of a touchpad.
  • Reply 20 of 108
    I still think AppleInsider is way off on this one. a 13.3" wide 'ultraportable' is nonsense.



    This LED backlight screen is replacing the MacBook's CFL backlight just as Steve Jobs said they'd do some time ago in his open letter about green issues. The MacBook *IS* a high-end model. Apple don't do low-end models.
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