Earlier this week, we heard a report from iTV obsessive Gene Munster that Apple was looking to buy up HDTV panels to launch their long-rumored connected television set by the end of 2012. But according to a new report from the sometimes-accidentally-reliable Digitimes, when Apple came knocking for display panels, the big boys all said ‘no.’
According to Digitimes‘s “industry sources,” Apple wants nothing less than an IGZO OLED panel in its integrated iTV. There’s only one problem:
Apple reportedly has sought to source IGZO panels from Sharp for the production of iTVs as Samsung Electronics and LG Electronics, which unveiled their 55-inch Super OLED and AMOLED TV models, respectively, at CES, both have regarded OLED TVs are their killer products for 2012, and therefore the two Korea-based companies are unlikely to share OLED panel production capacities with Apple.
Although Sharp’s 8G lines are able to produce panels in 32- 46- and even 55-inch sizes, the Japan-based panel maker seems unready to start shipping the IGZO panels needed for the production of iTV sets, the sources indicated. Additionally, yield rates of Sharp’s IGZO panels are also a major concern.
Personally, I think this is probably bull. If Apple really does intend on bringing an iTV to market this year, they aren’t going to go with OLED. They are still too expensive of a technology in the sizes and yields Apple will need for a killer new product. Plus, if you look back at Apple’s history, Cupertino tends not to adopt unproven technology… and OLED is still pretty raw. Heck, Apple hasn’t even adopted OLED in its iOS devices, instead preferring IPS LCD displays, even though Super AMOLED displays in the sub-10-inch range are relatively cheap. If they aren’t doing OLED in mobile, they won’t do it on the iTV.