The Korea Times is reporting that a “first tier display supplier” is already manufacturing a 12.9 inch panel for iPads. According to the report, Apple is looking to bring the bigger iPad to market sometime “early next year”…
While most are expecting Apple to include the rumored LTE connectivity in the upcoming next-gen iPhone, we get word from Korea Times today that Korean carriers SK Telecom and KT have revealed they are currently in talks with Apple to carry a new iPhone on their LTE networks:
SK Telecom and KT are in talks to offer long-term evolution (LTE) connectivity on Apple’s next handset, tentatively named the iPhone 5, officials from the companies said Wednesday…The two local telecom companies are authorized Korean partners to sell the American firm’s i-branded devices here. The smallest carrier LG Uplus is unable to sell Apple’s products as it doesn’t own a suitable frequency.
According to an official at KT, which is home to roughly 1.4 million users compared to SK Telecom’s 4 million LTE subscribers, the carrier is in talks “with Apple to persuade the latter to support KT’s 1.8-gigahertz frequency in Korea for the upcoming iPhone.” Although it’s unclear exactly what type of negotiations might be taking place, we know the current third-gen LTE iPad supports only AT&T, Verizon, and a few Canadian carriers on 700 MHz and 2100 MHz frequency bands. If the talks are indeed to discuss launching an LTE iPhone with support for the 800 MHz and 1800 MHz bands, it’s importnat to note that many other markets also operate over those bands including Australia and parts of Europe.
The Korea Times reports that Apple may consider moving its displays over to OLED from LCD. Samsung, Apple’s biggest display provider, is ramping up OLED production to the point where it could meet Apple’s demand numbers.
Thanks to the increased volume, chances have been raised to ship Samsung’s OLEDs for Apple’s iPads and even iPhones, said unnamed Samsung executives on the condition of anonymity.
`So far, Apple has questions over an output commitment and product volume as Samsung’s OLED business isn’t on full track. But chances have risen to break the wall,’’ said one Samsung executive.
Apple is Samsung’s biggest customer, buying $7.8 billion of components such as memory chips and LCDs in 2011. This year, it will buy around $11 billion of Samsung parts despite the deepening legal battle between the two companies.
Apple is using LCDs in most of its i-branded products. It’s known that Apple previously denied Samsung’s offer to use OLEDs as the American firm believes OLEDs have some “technological problems.’’
Apple spokesman Steve Park declined to comment.
I am sure Apple’s display requirements are not just demand-based. Those “technical problems” mentioned above likely include “Retina”-type pixel density resolutions and similar color accuracy of LCD. While OLED displays are often impressive to look at, sometimes they are oversaturated in color. Moreover, I have never heard of a model that nears 300PPI.
(Samsung Flexible Super AMOLED Display Pictured) Read more
An artist’s rendition of iPhone 5.
The Korea Times reports that Samsung “is seeking a complete ban” on the iPhone 5 sales in Korea – even before the handset is even released, let alone officially announced. Local carriers KT and SK Telecom have so far sold about 3.1 million iPhones in the country. The paper quotes an unnamed Samsung senior executive:
Just after the arrival of the iPhone 5 here, Samsung plans to take Apple to court here for its violation of Samsung’s wireless technology related patents. For as long as Apple does not drop mobile telecommunications functions, it would be impossible for it to sell its i-branded products without using our patents. We will stick to a strong stance against Apple during the lingering legal fights.
Another Samsung executive is “quite confident” about “a big breakthrough” provided Samsung wins in Germany, adding that “so will other envisioned efforts against such products as the iPhone 5″. The report goes on to mention that iPhone sports an LG Display-made screen, LG Innotek’s eight-megapixel camera, Samsung-made NAND flash and A5 chip and an NFC chip for wireless payment.
The twist in this case, of course, is the fact that Apple is Samsung’s biggest customer, buying displays, NAND flash memory and custom-built A4 and A5 chips for its products. It has been reported that Samsung may soon lose its iOS device processor contract as Apple turns to rival TSMC.
The manufacturing relationship means Samsung gets information about the innards of Apple’s non-released devices months before the actual manufacturing ramp up. This early access to Apple’s designs could have led Samsung to move with the iPhone 5 ban in Korea ahead of Apple’s official launch. On the other hand, Apple did not accuse Samsung yet of abusing its manufacturing contract to rip off Apple’s upcoming devices with its own products.