While some reports have claimed that Apple’s iPad 3 will be thicker than its current-generation tablet so that the company can make room for a stunning Retina display, it seems that may not be the case. Sources in Apple’s supply chain claim that the Cupertino company will instead utilize IGZO (indium gallium zinc oxide) displays from Sharp that will allow the device to retain its slender form factor, while sporting a new “full HD level” display.
DigiTimes reports that the iPad 3 will be the first of Apple’s devices to adopt a IGZO display, but more of its mobile products will adopt them later:
Apple is expected to push forward the adoption of IGZO (indium gallium zinc oxide) flat panels, instead of IPS (in-plane switching) panels used currently, for its next-generation mobile display products, according to sources in Apple’s supply chain.
Starting with the new iPads, Apple will utilize IGZO panels from Sharp in order to upgrade the display resolution of the new tablets to full HD level, the sources indicated.
Of course, following yesterday’s bizarre report surrounding an iPad 3 launch at MacWorld|iWorld — which was later debunked — it’s understandable that you’d choose to ignore DigiTimes’ latest claim. However, as MacRumors notes, this isn’t the first time we’ve hears this rumor.
Jefferies analyst Peter Misek issued a research note back in November which was the first to claim that Apple would adopt Sharp’s IGZO displays for its next-generation devices:
Also, we believe that Apple and Sharp together have a modified IGZO (indium, gallium, zinc) technology to achieve 330 dpi, which is sufficient for an HD display while not using IPS nor having to include 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.
The advantage of using an IGZO display in the iPad 3, according to DisplayBlog, is that they allow for higher resolutions in terms of ppi, while keeping energy consumption to a minimum:
The benefits of IGZO are plenty: lower cost of manufacturing, up to 30x higher electron mobility than a-Si (amorphous silicon), increased aperture ratio for improved light transmittance, higher resolution in terms of ppi, etc. IGZO would allow for significant cost reductions compared to LTPS (Low Temperature Poly-Silicon) based high resolution LCDs like the rumored 9.7-inch 2048×1536 IPS LCD for the iPad 3.
It seemed hard to believe that Apple would launch a third-generation iPad that is thicker than its predecessor, even if it was necessary for accommodating a Retina display. But based on this latest report, it seems the Cupertino company may not have to go down this route thanks to IGZO displays.