iPad 2 stock trims as iPad 3 gets new supplier
Apple may be cutting back on iPad 2 shipments as it gears up to introduce a new supplier for iPad 3 LCDs, according to new rumors from the parts chain. LCD contractors were said by Digitimes to be making "inventory adjustments" by about 850,000 of the tablet's screens. In October, LG Display had cut its production by 500,000, while Chi Mei Innolux had cut its small output in half from 700,000 to 350,000.
Japan Display unites to make phone, PC displays
Hitachi, Innovation Network Corporation of Japan, Sony, and Toshiba on Tuesday formalized a deal to create a united display maker. Called Japan Display, it will consolidate the production of small- to medium-sized displays, such as those on smartphones, tablets, and computers. The coalition will take 70 percent of its funding from the government-backed Innovation Network while the three private firms will each have an equal share of the rest.
Smaller iPad seen still using IPS, lighter weight
Apple's rumored seven-inch iPad gained some credibility with a detailed scoop from the Taiwan-area Economic Daily News narrowing down the suppliers. Chi Mei would supply the screens, which would still use the same high quality in-plane switching (IPS) technique as the current iPad's LG-made screen, while AU Optronics would make the touch layer.
3rd Chi Mei exec jailed for artificial price hikes
The Department of Justice today said a third executive from Chi Mei has plead guilty to antitrust charges of price fixing for LCDs. Wen-Hung Huang admitted to conspiring with other companies to keep screen prices artificially high between 2001 and 2006. The senior staffer's bargain will give a lighter sentence of nine months in jail and a $25,000 fine in return for cooperation that could lead to other convictions.
Acer Android, WM phones spotted ahead of release
The second smartphone from Acer to run on the Android operating system has been spotted ahead of an official launch. Passing its Bluetooth SIG testing, the Acer E110 should ship with Android 2.0 and support UMTS/HSDPA networks in either the 900/2100MHz or 850/1900MHz bands. There is also said to be assisted GPS functionality, a Bluetooth module, a touchscreen display of unknown resolution, and four touch-sensitive keys below it.
AUO to cut e-reader prices in half
AU Optronics (AUO) said on Friday that it hopes to slash the price of e-book readers in half within two years. The Taiwan area company explained to FT that it hopes to use its experience in making LCDs, as well as the sheer scale of its production, to make the e-paper displays affordable enough that they can lead to much less expensive hardware. A $150 reader could be available in 2010, while a $100 reader will ideally ship in 2011.
Chi Mei 16 9 Notebook LCDs
Taiwan component maker Chi Mei is planning to delve deeper into notebook LCDs with multiple extra-wide, LED-backlit models launching this year, sources for DigiTimes say. A 13.4-inch panel for thin-and-light notebooks is due that would include both the thinner, more energy-efficient LED light along with a relatively vivid 500:1 contrast ratio. It's also being complemented by a 15.6-inch display that would only be marginally larger than taller 16:10 displays but would have a sharper 1600x900 resolution, a 250-nit brightness and a comparatively quick 8ms pixel response time.