updated 06:57 pm EDT, Wed October 17, 2012
New tablet said to increase battery life due to lower-power display
Sharp has announced its intention to launch the Aquos Pad -- a 7-inch tablet with its IGZO display in early December. The tablet has a 1280x800 display, and other technologies which the company says stretches the life of the 2,040mAh battery out to 2.5 times greater than existing tablets. The IGZO technology could also be used to power the display for Apple's rumored iPad mini, which may debut at the company's scheduled October 23 press event.
Based on the indium, gallium, zinc oxide semiconductor, the IGZO display allows for smaller mixes than current displays, with a lower power drain from greater translucency and higher touch accuracy. The first device announced to use the technology is the Aquos Phone Zeta with a 4.9-inch display at 1280x720. The phone is expected to see release in Japan in November or December.
Apple has alluded to a technology investment that some have associated with displays. The company is reported to have dumped as much as $1 billion into Sharp that may have been intended to source a supply of IGZO displays for use in the iPad mini and other products. Apple's main manufacturing partner Foxconn has likewise invested in the troubled display maker.