LG announces 55-inch OLED HDTV, looks good enough for an Apple Television

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Various reports throughout the year claimed LG is providing the television behind the Apple HDTV.  However, nothing conclusive has surfaced.

As far as the big display makers are concerned, Apple’s relationship with LG is probably the strongest.  LG makes iPod Touch and iPhone Retina Displays, some iPad displays, and Apple secured a $500 million dollar investment in LG displays in 2009. The net investment was a temporary exclusive on panels for the 27-inch display that Apple’s iMacs and Thunderbolt Displays now use. Sony also makes OLEDs, but it does not have a strong relationship with Apple – at least as far as displays are concerned. The other big OLED maker is Samsung, and it is currently tangled with Apple in patent disputes.

With that said, look at the things that will be shown at the Consumer Electronic show. They have a 4 mm bezel -that is half the thickness of an iPhone 4S- and weighs in at a paltry 16.5-pounds. In addition, things like “1,000 times faster than LED/LCD displays” and “infinite contrast ratio” makes this sound like one of the best displays of 2012.

(Full sized images and the press release are below.):

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Analyst: iPad 3 Retina Display production “has started”

Mere hours after we verified the connection between DigiTimes display predictions and the J2 prototype found in iOS 5 code strings, DisplaySearch analyst Richard Shim told CNET that production of a QXGA 10-inch 2048-by-1536 Retina Display for iPad 3 “has started”, as previously hinted:

It’s happening – QXGA, 2048×1536. Panel production has started [for the next-generation iPad]. There’s three suppliers. [...] It takes a couple of weeks for the production to go to the ODMs (the manufacturers). Then the manufacturer puts them in the housing. Then, that goes off to shipment. We could start seeing finished devices produced in December. And then being ready to be shipped in January. With volumes gearing up in February and March

J1 and J2 are code-names DigiTimes outed as next-generation iPad models allegedly in the works for 2012. Acknowledging possible issues with volume manufacturing of such a high-resolution display, the analyst stressed Apple should be able to meet targets because it is sourcing parts from three display manufacturers: Samsung Electronic, LG Display and Sharp.
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More details on the iPad 3′s 2048×1536 resolution display

CNET’s Brooke Crothers has heard some information about the iPad 3′s upcoming 264PPI display. As we’ve heard a lot in the past, it will be a 2048×1536 resolution display as long as the Korean display manufacturers, Samsung and LG, can produce them in large numbers. According to his source, there could be some problems building it in the monstrous quantities that Apple demands.

The closest that iPad display manufacturers like LG Display and Samsung can get is 2048×1536 resolution display, according to the source. That’s a PPI of 264, twice the 132 PPI on the iPad 2.

But whether manufacturers can make them in volumes that Apple demands is the question. “They have production plans for 2,048×1,536 displays. Starting in November. But those are only plans at this point,” said the source, referring to LG and Samsung.

“It’s not a question of making just one. That, of course, can be done. The challenge is making lots of them,” the source said. “This is a quantum leap in pixel density. This hasn’t been done before.”

If manufacturers are not able to hit the volumes necessary for the higher resolution, there is an interim option of 1,600×1,200, according to the source.

The display is also expected to have a brightness of 550 nits. That’s pretty bright, as the typical laptop display panel tops out at about 350 nits.

I don’t think it is as easy as dropping the resolution down to 1600×1200. Apps don’t scale that easily even if the aspect ratio is the same. If for some reason, they can’t pump out the 2048×1536 in sufficient numbers (and Samsung is already testing better ones), Apple will continue with the same resolution….or wait until they can produce enough high resolution displays.

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iPad 2 estimates jump from 14 million to 20 million for Q3

A new report from Taiwan Economic News claims Apple’s main supplier Foxconn has significantly upped its iPad 2 shipment estimates from 14 million to  20 million units for Q3. The report notes this marks a significant “42.8% increase from its original projection” made in July. This confirms previous reports for third quarter estimates we told you about last week.
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Apple looking at 55-inch LG OLED displays for late 2012 Apple Television?

Smarthouse has a particularly bad reputation when it comes to Apple rumors, especially when they involve OLEDs.  But we’ll bite on their latest because it is so tantalizing.

There is also speculation that Apple has held discussions with LG Display the Company that makes display screens for MAC products, about the possibility of getting access to a new 55 LG OLED panel that will be used in a new Apple TV that will be capable of delivering music, Video & TV shows over an IP network.

On Friday LG said that they will launch a limited production OLED TV late in 2012.

There are no shortage of people advocating for an integrated Apple television, but certainly the leader is Piper Jaffray’s Gene Munster who expects one next year.

As far as the big display makers are concerned, Apple’s relationship with LG is probably the strongest.  LG makes iPod Touch and iPhone Retina Displays and Apple secured a $500 million dollar investment in LG displays in 2009.  The net of that was a temporary exclusive on the panels for the 27-inch display that Apple’s iMacs and now Thunderbolt Displays now use.  Sony makes OLEDs as well but doesn’t have a strong relationship with Apple, at least as far as displays are concerned.  The other big OLED maker is Samsung, who is now tangled with Apple in patent disputes.

If Apple does do a TV, it will likely have some sort of game-changer tech innovation that Apple could exclusively own for a period of time.  A 55-inch OLED would probably qualify even though yields will be low and prices will be astronomical during the ramp up.

We’re still not convinced, however. Read more

Surprise! Apple swaps LG for Samsung display drivers in iPad 2s


Recently manufactured iPad 2 units have this Wise-View controller, a Samsung technology.  Previous iPad 2s had an LG chip. Photo: Chipworks

For all the talk about Apple reducing its reliance on frenemy Samsung and getting its chips and gadget parts elsewhere, iFixIt reports that silicon experts Chipworks have found out that newer versions of iPad 2 incorporate a new display driver from Samsung whereas iPad 2 units manufactured up to March 2011 used display driver labeled as SW0627B, “an LG display driver that dates back to the original iPad”. As for the new chip labeled as SW0627B, used in the original iPad and newer iPad 2s:

Chipworks’ latest batch of iPad 2s, however, seem to be using a new Wise-View chip. Little to no information can be found about the chip at this time, except that it appears to be a technology developed by Samsung. Sadly there’s no information on Samsung Semiconductor’s site regarding this display driver product line.

Despite lack of information, the Wise-View chip can be yours on Taobao for 24 Yaun a piece, or some $3.7. iFixIt speculates that Apple changing display driver suppliers may be “foreshadowing the release of an updated iPad with a higher-res screen”, providing no substantiation to support the theory, though. If you ask us, it’s just Apple at its best, covering all bases and making sure it doesn’t rely too heavily on a sole supplier.

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