Apple May Have Snubbed Sharp’s Retina Display For iPad 3, Choosing Panels From Samsung & LG Instead



Chinese sources revealed earlier this week that Apple’s third-generation iPad is now in production and scheduled for a launch in early March. It was reported that the device would sport a long-awaited Retina display supplied by Sharp.

However, that may not be the case. According to a new report from Korea’s Electronic Times, Apple turned down Sharp’s displays after they failed to pass the company’s approval process, and decided to use panels from Samsung and LG Display instead.

Apple will order a staggering 65 million iPad 3s during 2012, according to the report, but none of them will ship with a Sharp display:

Sharp has competed with Samsung electronics and LGD Display over the development of display panels for the iPad 3, but reportedly failed to pass Apple’s approval process for mass production. Sharp has worked on developing high resolution panels on the basis of oxide semiconductor TFTs.

The rumor contradicts yesterday’s report from the Japanese blog Macotakara, which cited Chinese sources claiming the iPad 3 is now being assembled by Foxconn and Pegatron, with a 2048 x 1536 display from Sharp. Both reports do agree on the display’s resolution, however.

[via Patently Apple]

  • JDWages

    A somewhat interesting article.  However, Killian, it would have been far more interesting had there been a bit more journalistic sleuthing done and you had found out the specifics of Apple’s approval process.  For truly, it shocks me to hear that a Japanese company, and especially the one with the size and reputation of SHARP no less, would fail to beat out Korean, Chinese or Taiwanese firms in terms of overall quality and defect rates. 

  • gettysburg11s

    Hey, as long as Apple delivers a great screen, who cares who they get it from.  I think the most important thing on the iPad 3 is an upgraded CPU and way better cameras.  Luckily, the cameras in the iPad 2 can’t get any worse, so they can only get better.  The  rear camera isn’t that important.  Its the front one that needs to be high quality.  After all, who takes pictures with a huge iPad?  I’ve never heard of anyone doing it.

  • Pavlo Levintovich

    I don’t think it makes sense that Apple turned down Sharp for ‘quality’ reasons. Maybe for price disagreements, but certainly not for quality. That is, assuming Apple even turned Sharp down and there’s any truth to those rumors. 

    1) Sharp has invented the LCD
    2) Sharp is the only manufacturer in the world with state of the art 10th generation LCD panels plants. 
    3) Apple has already worked with Sharp for displays for its first iPhone (2007). 
    4) Sharp is said to be the producer of panels for Apple’s upcoming TV line-up. 

    Sharp’s facilities are the most advanced in the world. 


  • Athren Glory

    I was hoping it would be Sharp due to what I’ve read was their “IGZO” display technology which would of allowed the iPad to have 33% less power consumption. But if Apple decided to cut Sharp out of the picture, I could only assume this IGZO technology didn’t meet an expectation set by Apple.

    In any case, I still plan to keep an eye out on this IGZO technology because it sounds at least promising.

  • hanna

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  • JDWages

    Exactly.  And that is precisely why I wrote my previous post in this thread.  I want to know more about Apple’s “approval process”!

  • JDWages

    One big reason “to care about where the screens come” from stems from the Apple/Samsung battle.  As a Mac enthusiast since 1984 and an AAPL investor since 1999, I don’t want to see Apple paying out more money to any company they are currently battling in court on a global scale.  Samsung has blatantly ripped off many Apple designs in my opinion (and in Apple’s opinion too), and that should be sufficient reason for Apple to source screens, memory chips and other parts elsewhere.  From what we read in the news, it seems Apple is trying to do that.  But then we read news stories like this one, which if true claim Apple is overlooking alternatives to Samsung (like Sharp) for unknown reasons.  I for one wish to know what those “unknown reasons” are.  Especially so in light of the meaningful technological benefits Sharp’s IGZO technology would offer.

    I concur about the bad cameras of the iPad2 though, so much so that I wrote Apple about it, saying they stink so bad they make a skunk’s aroma smell sweet in comparison.  I don’t see any need to dummy down the front or back cameras though in the iPad3.  Make them both HD and even hi-rez 8MP versions, I say!  It’s not like 8MP mobile cameras are new or expensive these days.  About a year ago, when I was visting my local SoftBank shop here in Japan, they had 14MP camera cell phones on the shelf, with 8MP versions becoming “yesterday’s news.”  

    Fact is that if you put good technology in a popular device, many more people will use it.  Perhaps we’ve not heard of photo shoots with an iPad becoming popular only because the cameras in the iPad2 sink so badly.  Sure the iPad is unwieldy for photos versus a cell phone or true camera, but if all you’ve got in your pocket is an iPad and there is photo opportunity before you, you will use it!  Better cameras are just an incentive to use it more.

  • AdamC

    Just rumors….