Apple Had Plans For An iPad With An IGZO Display, But Had To Choose ‘Plan B’

Apple Had Plans For An iPad With An IGZO Display, But Had To Choose ‘Plan B’

Apparently, this "resolutionary" device was Apple's "Plan B."

Apple’s new iPad seems to have been a huge success since making its debut last month. Although it doesn’t feature a new form factor and actually measures in a little thicker than its predecessor, that high-resolution Retina display, the 5-megapixel iSight camera, and voice dictation have all made this iPad a crowd pleaser, helping Apple shift 3 million units in its first three days of availability.

However, Raymond Soneira, CEO of DisplayMate Technologies, claims that this isn’t the iPad Apple wanted to release. Soneira says that Tim Cook and co. wanted to make the tablet thinner and introduce a new display with IGZO technology from Sharp. Instead, the company had to resort to “Plan B.”

DisplayMate is a company that specializes in calibrating, testing, evaluating and comparing displays from devices like monitors, HDTVs, projectors, and mobile devices. According to the company’s about page, its technology is used by “ever major manufacturer in their research labs.”

In a recent interview with CNET, the company’s CEO revealed that Apple wanted to introduce Sharp’s IGZO technology into its third-generation iPad that would make the unit thinner than the iPad 2. But it reportedly had to go to “Plan B” when the technology just wasn’t ready in time.

“The plan was to use this new technology called IGZO from Sharp — a lot higher electron mobility that allows them to make the transistors a lot smaller and the circuit elements a lot smaller,” he [Soneira] said. In short, smaller transistors and circuit elements allow more light through and reduce the number of backlights needed, resulting in a thinner display assembly.

There was one problem, though. Sharp didn’t have its IGZO display tech ready in time. So, Apple had to fall back on more conventional amorphous silicon technology.

“There’s no question that the iPad 3 is Plan B. They pushed amorphous silicon to a higher [pixels per inch] than anybody else. but the light throughput is not good. So it has roughly twice as many LEDs, and they had to get a a 70 percent larger battery,” Soneira said, referring to today’s third-generation iPad.

Soniera’s comments fit in well with a number of rumors that circulated in the months leading up to the new iPad’s unveiling. Several suggested Apple would opt for IGZO technology for its next tablet to make the unit thinner and more energy efficient while adding a Retina display.

However, it has also been reported that Sharp just could not provide the number of IGZO displays that Apple needs to meet demand for its hugely popular device.

Even so, the new iPad seems like a pretty incredible compromise if you ask me.

  • Srose428

    Funny Apple’s “Plan B” is better than anyone else’s Flagship Plan A.  IGZO displays are going to be a great thing going forward.

  • Whodakat

    I’ll take a thinner, better screened iPad with better battery life!  Start the iPad 4 rumors!

  • ApplePr0n

    So this will be in the iPad 4 most-def. it’s funny how Apple’s Plan B > Everyone’s Plan A

  • suckiitttt

    This IGZO display with 32/28nm A6X processor and Apples space filling battery tech

  • Matthew Gonzales Landry

    This IGZO display with 32/28nm A6X processor and Apples space filling battery tech

    No! Not A6X, A7!! No more X’s for the iPad. The new iPad should have already had an A6 in it. The iPad is supposed to be the best technology that Apple has to offer in iOS. I can imagine the iPhone using the A5X considering how overpowering and big the GPU is. The next iPad has to have a brand new CPU to iOS. I hope the A5X runs iOS 6 well.

  • Matthew Gonzales Landry

    Wow, this really makes you wonder what the next iPad is going to be. I don’t mind the thickness, but the transition from this thickness to a design in thinner than the iPad 2 will be incredibly dramatic next time around. I wounder is the next iPad will be the iPhone 4 for tablets. It’s pretty much a fact already that I’ll be buying it.

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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