The DisplaySearch blog explained:
The LCD supply chain (including panel makers, component suppliers, subcontract manufacturing companies) has started to gear up for Apple: in the second half of 2012, Apple will launch three new products (a first): iPhone 5, iPad Mini and New iPad refresh model. These mobile devices will require displays with high resolution, slim form factor, light weight and low power consumption. And certainly, these features are keeping the LCD supply chain very busy.
DisplaySearch’s estimates of near-term production for these Apple products are shown in the table (above). The LCD supply chain companies involved in the Apple new products include Corning, Japan Display, LG Display, Sharp, AUO, Chimei Innolux, Samsung, Radiant, Coretronic, TPK, Wintek as well as Foxconn.
Apple’s business appeals to the LCD supply chain for various reasons related to production stability, but the displays are very technologically specific and present many challenges. As Hsieh further noted, Apple requires light and slim displays with high resolution, minimal power consumption, maximum color saturation, etc.:
…the iPhone 5: while not disclosed publicly yet, many believe the panel size will be increased to 4.0” from 3.5” in the iPhone 4S, while the resolution remains at 326 ppi. The technology breakthrough will be the in-cell touch sensor integration, which presents a big challenge for LCD suppliers to maintain good yield rates.
The iPad mini is expected to launch in Q4’12 as well. Compared to the iPad, the smaller 7.85” screen is targeting the segment of the market currently addressed by Amazon, Samsung, and Google. The ultra slim form factor and low power consumption LCD is the key, as well as the film type projective capacitance touch panel.
Due to these requirements, Apple has been investing in Asia’s LCD supply chain, according to Hsieh, specifically giving down payments to LCD panel makers for “strategic supply agreements.” Apple’s business is a “dual-edged blade,” but suppliers cannot ignore a company with such engaging product launches.
Get the full report at DisplaySearch.
- Apple reducing component orders from Samsung for iPhone 5, reportedly not mainly because of patent disputes (9to5mac.com)
- WSJ: Next-generation iPhone to feature improved, thinner display technology (9to5mac.com)
- ‘iPhone 5′ 1136×640 LCD screen, digitizer set can be yours for $199 (9to5mac.com)
- Case makers start teasing their smaller iPad cases, show off iPad mini renders (9to5mac.com)