updated 11:10 am EDT, Tue April 26, 2011
Sharp may make LTPS LCD for iPhone 6 in 2012
Rumors of Sharp's involvement in the long term for iPhone displays were revived again Tuesday with assertions in Japan's Nikkan paper that it would be making displays for the 2012 iPhone. Its design would use low temperature polysilicon (LTPS) LCDs that would use polycrystalline silicon to slim down by mounting the display driver hardware on the glass itself. The lower required temperature also improves the power consumption, AppleInsider noted, and the higher aperture ratio produces a richer image.
Production would reportedly involve Sharp's mostly unused first plant in Kameyama. Sharp recently confirmed that it was converting its second Kameyama plant to make phone and tablet displays but had been conspicuously silent on what would happen with its first plant.
The details weren't confirmed by Sharp and would clash with reports of Toshiba beating Sharp to an Apple contract. However, Apple has said it has multiple component partners in Japan and often tries to avoid leaning too heavily on one supplier. Publicly, Apple hasn't mentioned anything but has alluded to a long-term technology investment that many have taken to mean mobile displays.
The screens could be vital to Apple keeping a perceived technical lead. Apple was one of the first to use a "pixel-free" 640x960 screen in the iPhone 4 and has so far seen very little competition, with only Sharp itself and frequent Apple shadower Meizu using similar resolutions to date. LTPS could lead to longer battery life as well as a thinner phone and a more attractive screen.