Apple Could Use IGZO Displays To Allow For A Thinner iPad 3 [Rumor]

Apple Could Use IGZO Displays To Allow For A Thinner iPad 3 [Rumor]

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.

  • TradeGothicBold

    I can believe this rumor more so than most others.  I still stand pat that there is no way they would release a thicker version of the iPad or any other device.  My reasoning is that they do not make design compromises for the sake of their engineering.  Imagine the keynote – “now in order to get the retina display into the iPad, we had to make it thicker” – that won’t happen at Apple.  I don’t care if they make it thinner, but there is no way I can believe they’ll make it thicker.  They’d release a “2s” version before that happens. 

  • Al

    Sounds great! Lower power requirements too – what a brilliant technology! Why not keep the iPad the same thickness but use the extra space for more batteries? It would be mind-blowing.

  • recyclops117

    Wow realy! Ive been saying this in the comments since last month.

  • freighttrain2126

    The iPhone 3G was slightly thicker than the original iPhone, and Steve even mentioned it, but quickly went on to say that the tapering made it feel thinner even though in fact it was thicker.

  • TylerHoj

    Just sold my iPad like I do every year around this time to make room in my wallet and my tech ecosystem for the next generation. Very excited about this! 

  • poppa1138

    Sir Johnathan Ive will probably make it thinner..

About the author

Killian BellKillian Bell is a staff writer based in the U.K. He has an interest in all things tech and also covers Android over at CultofAndroid.com. You can follow him on Twitter via @killianbell.

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