Every time Apple makes a new iPhone, it needs to go into production earlier and earlier to accomodate the bonkers-go-nuts launch demand for the latest Jesus phone.
No wonder, then, that iPhone 5S mass production is starting to kick off, with a new report saying that Sharp, one of Apple’s major panel providers, is revving up its engines to mass produce IPS LCD displays for the iPhone 5S, starting as early as next month.
The iPad mini is still less than six months old, and already demand has dropped as fans await the second-generation model. That’s if you take any notice of DigiTimes, which is reporting that iPad mini shipments will decline by as much as 30% during the second quarter of 2013 due to dying demand.
The success of the iPhone and iPad was supposed to do great things for Sharp. As Apple’s profits have gone up, Sharp has seen an increased amount of orders from Cupertino as Apple tries to distance itself from buying supplies from Samsung.
Even though Sharp supplies Apple with displays for the iPad and iPhone, their stock price has been falling lately, and its investment deal with Foxconn might be in jeopardy.
To vastly simplify matters, every LCD screen is made up of a bunch of pixels connected to each other with a mesh of tiny little wires. These pixels don’t actually emit light themselves, but simply regulate the color of the light being displayed in that pixel. Behind this mesh is a lamp, and before a pixel can light up on your screen, the light from this lamp needs to shine through this mesh of wires. Because this mesh is so densely packed, though, the lamp needs to shine very, very brightly to get through… and the brighter an LED light shines, the more power it soaks up.
This is why the new iPad needs such a massive battery. The Retina display has over 3 million pixels in in a tiny area, which means the mesh behind the display is even thicker and more densely packed. To compensate, Apple needs to use a very bright light to shine through this extremely dense mesh, which results in worse battery performance over all.
What if there was a way to make the mesh of wires behind every pixel a lot less dense? That’s the idea behind Sharp’s IGZO technology, and the reason why we’ve been excited about it finally coming to Apple products since at least the beginning of the year. Now it looks possible that, with the iPad mini, we could finally get our wish, as Sharp is now announcing that their IGZO tech comes in 7-inch varieties… and they are releasing a tablet to prove it.