iFixit: MacBook Pro’s amazing Retina Display is made by LG Philips

[Image credit: iFixit]

We covered iFixit’s Retina Display teardown this morning, but the report left out one very important detail: Who makes the display? There had been some discussion by DisplayMate’s Raymond Soneira on whether Sharp’s IGZO display technology was used:

An IGZO Retina Display? Traditional high PPI displays (with amorphous Silicon) are inefficient with both brightness and power. As a result, the new iPad 3 with a Retina Display needs a 70 percent larger battery than the non-Retina Display iPad 2, but the MacBook Pro with Retina Display has only a 23 percent larger battery with the same 7 hour running time as the non-Retina Display MacBook Pro. How can this be? You may recall that IGZO technology has been making headlines for months, first rumored to be the technology used in the Retina Display for the new iPad 3. IGZO is significantly more efficient than amorphous Silicon. It wasn’t ready in time for the new iPad 3, but Sharp announced that production of IGZO LCDs with up to 300 PPI started in March of 2012… Just in time for the MacBook Pro… These facts lead me to speculate that the MacBook Pro is using a Sharp IGZO Retina Display…

Apple, Sharp, and Foxconn are rumored to be working together on something bigger as well.

Nope… Read more

iFixit tears down the new MacBook Pro’s Retina display, an ‘engineering marvel’

They first took apart the new Retina MacBook Pro and called it the “least repairable laptop” ever, but today our friends at iFixit took apart the device’s most impressive new component: its Retina Display. Here is what they found:

The Retina display is an engineering marvel. Its LCD is essentially the entire display assembly. Rather than sandwich an LCD panel between a back case and a piece of glass in front, Apple used the aluminum case itself as the frame for the LCD panel and used the LCD as the front glass. They’ve managed to pack five times as many pixels as the last model in a display that’s actually a fraction of a millimeter thinner. And since there’s no front glass, glare is much less of an issue.

The major downside to the design noted in the report: the LCD is not replaceable. It is attached to the entire assembly, so this means you will likely have to replace the entire assembly if something goes wrong. It also noted that getting into the display is quite difficult, claiming, “Obliterating the front panel of the display was the only way to get it out.” Some highlights:

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Often-rumored Apple partner Sharp announces production of Hi-DPI IGZO LCD displays


32-inch iMac or TV? We’ll take both!

Sharp revealed today that it began assembling high-performance LCDs last month with increased production in April to meet market demand.

Jefferies & Co.’s Peter Misek is a very outspoken analyst regarding Apple’s rumored HDTV. He first claimed in November that Sharp is preparing production lines for the “iTV,” but he later said the company plans to build roughly 5 million units beginning this spring with a product launch slated for Q4 2012.

According to Sharp, the LCDs will help the company contribute to “creating markets for attractive new products”:

Sharp will encourage the application of its new high-resolution LCD panels to high-definition notebook PCs and LCD monitors—which are both expected to grow in demand—as well as to mobile devices. Sharp will also contribute to creating markets for attractive new products.

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If Apple chose to move to OLED, Samsung now has the numbers. Quality still a consideration.

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

New patent details Apple’s work with high refresh rate LCD technology HDTVs

A ton of recent rumors all but confirm Apple plans to enter the TV market with a full-fledged Apple-branded HDTV, but today a patent published by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office details an advancement of high refresh rate LCD technology known as “fringe field switching.” As described by PatentlyApple, Apple’s patent offers advancements in the technology that would allow FFS for use with large screen HDTVs. The report noted, “Previous versions of FSS couldn’t accommodate such large displays.” PatentlyApple explained:

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Actual iPad 3 production display placed under microscope, Retina Display confirmed

Macrumors claimed to have obtained one of the screens floating around on the Internet from iPad 3 production. Putting it under a microscope, the publication indeed discovered it has 4 times the pixels as an iPad 2 or double the horizontal and double the vertical, which yields 2,048-by-1,536 pixels.

Physically, the purported iPad 3 display is the same size as the current iPad 1 and iPad 2 display at 9.7″ in diagonal, and looks quite similar to the naked eye.

However, when comparing the iPad 3 display to one from an iPad 2 under a microscope, the difference in resolutions becomes readily apparent, with the iPad 3 display’s pixels appearing to be one-quarter the size of those on the iPad 2.

We are just a few weeks away from the anticipated March 7 announcement. While the Retina display was expected for some time, there might still be some surprises.

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