updated 01:55 pm EDT, Thu September 27, 2007
LED Displays to Dominate
High-profile companies like Apple and Sony may produce as much as a third of their notebooks with advanced LED-backlit displays by next year, according to reported insiders from the LCD panel industry. These companies in particular are expected to replace at least 20 to 30 percent of their notebook lineups with the new technology by 2008 or 2009 at the latest as they seek to improve the displays across more of their existing lines. This includes displays in common sizes such as 14 and 17 inches, the sources claim. The improvement would let both desktop replacement systems and thin-and-light notebooks produce more uniform colors, save power, and reduce their thickness compared to traditional displays with cold-cathode fluorescent (CCFL) backlights.
Other panel makers are said to be ramping up production for existing sizes that are typically only made by a few firms at best. LG Philips and Toshiba Matsushita Display are both beginning their own production runs of 13.3-inch screens and are joined by AU Optronics and Chi Mei, both of whom are making 12-inch panels at the same time, the report alleges.
The tips have surfaced at the same time as reports that Apple may switch to aluminum for its consumer MacBook line, which uses a 13.3-inch screen at a similar size and ratio to the LED-based displays launching this year. Apple chief Steve Jobs initially vowed to introduce LED backlighting to his company's computer line this spring as part of an environmental push and followed through with an updated 15.4-inch MacBook Pro. The 17-inch MacBook Pro as well as the MacBook continue to use CCFL.
Sony was one of the earliest adopters of LED backlights and has used the technology primarily in its T-series ultraportables, including the 11-inch VAIO TZ. The Japanese firm has not announced LED lighting as part of its environmental initiatives but produces multiple notebooks that share similar screen sizes.