updated 09:25 am EDT, Mon July 18, 2011
'Big orders' close to being secured
Samsung and LG are close to securing large LCD orders from Apple, according to industry sources in contact with the Korea Times. The screens are believed to be for the next-generation iPad; in any case sources claim that Apple has already started quality testing on the parts at a Chinese laboratory. The sources elaborate that Samsung and LG were tasked with producing better picture quality and density, and that testing will probably be completed this quarter.
"Apple's upcoming iPad 3 will feature an improved display to support quad extended graphics (QXGA), a display resolution of 2048×1536 pixels with a 4:3 aspect ratio to provide full high definition (HD) viewing experience," claims a source described as close to the LCD talks. "Apple has traditionally preferred to use the same providers of the same parts for the same device, even as they evolve to different versions. I don't see any fundamental change to that approach."
As has been reported before by the Times, Apple is believed to be uninterested in using Samsung OLED technology. OLED is said to have several problems at the moment, such as a short lifespan and easy contamination. "Another drawback is the current OLED technology is not at the level to realize a full HD viewing experience, which is important for tablets," the source close to the negotiations mentions.
Both Samsung and LG should now be capable of producing 2048x1536 LCDs. "Pixel density, a barometer for viewing quality, should be increased to over 280 pixels-per-inch (PPI) to meet Apple's stiff requirement for screen viewing," a separate source says. The person additionally predicts that Taiwanese LCD maker CMI will see comparatively smaller orders from Apple.
If accurate the report may dispel rumors of third-generation iPad appearing in September, at least one with an enhanced display. With high-profile devices Apple tends to begin production a month in advance, meaning that the company would likely need to have already approved LCDs to meet a September launch date. More probable is that Apple is slowly gearing up for a release in March or April next year.