LG Display Stories November 25, 2012

According to a report from IBM tracking shopping trends for Thanksgiving and Black Friday (via Fortune), Apple devices dominated among mobile devices for online buying with 10 percent of shopping online done from an iPad. The device also dominated for online purchases originating from tablets, accounting for 88.3-percent of traffic. The iPhone came in at 8.7-percent of traffic for online purchases, while Android devices combined came in at just 5.5-percent.

Apple appears to be testing a new “floating” Genius Bar design in a couple of retail stores. We originally saw images of the new communal Genius Bar configuration in July. However, today, TheDailyCity reported Apple is now testing the design in at least two stores: one in Orlando at Mall at Millenia and another in a Philadelphia Apple Store. Apple will apparently roll out the design to its Florida Mall store. Apple appears to like the new design, so we wouldn’t be surprised to see it in more Apple Stores in the near future.

Apple and Samsung are now both seeking to extend their patent infringement claims in the California-based lawsuit filed in August. Samsung asked the courts in a filing last week to add the iPad mini and new iPod touch to the case after recently adding the iPhone 5. Now, FossPatents reported that Apple, as of Black Friday, sought to add six new Samsung products, including: Samsung Galaxy S III, Galaxy Note II, Galaxy Tab 8.9 Wi-Fi, Galaxy Tab 10.1, Samsung Rugby Pro, and the Galaxy S III Mini. The case isn’t scheduled to go to trial until March 2014.

Will.i.am of Black Eye Peas fame is about to launch a new accessory for iPhone this week that is said to turn the device’s existing 8-megapixel camera into a 14-megapixel camera. The Telegraph (via MacRumors) spoke with Will.i.am who described the product called “i.am+:

 

‘We have our own sensor and a better flash. You dock you phone into our device and it turns you smartphone into a genius-phone. We take over the camera.’… The camera will be the first of a series of digital products that bear his name – to support them, he has invested in what he calls ‘digital real estate’ online. He now owns the domain http://www.i.am. Users of i.am+ accessories will be given individual online profiles, for example http://www.i.am/Will.

Apple switched battery suppliers for iPad and MacBooks from Samsung SDI to Amperex Technology Limited and Tianjin Lishen Battery, according to a report from China Business News (via TechCrunch). Recent reports about processor price hikes, and Samsung dropping out as an Apple display supplier, were later denied by the company, so we’ll wait for official word regarding the batteries.

The majority of iPad mini displays are coming from LG, according to a report from Digitimes. We already knew LG Display, AU Optronics, and Samsung are supplying display components for the device, but the sometimes-unreliable Digitimes claimed this weekend that the majority of displays are coming from LG—not AUO.

LG Display Stories November 5, 2012

Apple rumored to be making investment in failing Sharp

According to a report from IDG, Sharp has not so surprisingly announced in its recent earnings report there is “‘material doubt’ about its ability to continue operating.” While Apple’s manufacturing partner Foxconn previously agreed to buy an 11-percent stake in the company, today’s report noted those negotiations continue to drag on and risk falling through as Sharp’s stock price continues dropping. To turn the company around, rumor has it Sharp will focus on its IGZO technology and displays for smartphones and tablets, while possibly seeking investments from Apple in the process:

Sharp added, however, that it still believes it can cut costs and secure enough credit to survive. Its IGZO technology for mobile displays is likely to be a key element of its business strategy…The company, whose stock has been downgraded to junk status by ratings agencies, continues to seek investments from outside companies, with media reports in Japan linking it to companies including Apple and Intel.

As far back as November 2011, Apple was rumored to invest in Sharp’s display factories in Japan. Earlier reports indicated Sharp’s IGZO displays could possibly be used in Apple’s new 7.8-inch iPad mini, but recent teardowns of the device confirm Apple is using display components from Samsung, LG, Display, and AU Optronics. Sharp, however, remains a key Apple component supplier, and it recently confirmed it is back to producing “adequate volumes” of iPhone 5 displays after facing weeks of delays leading up to the device’s launch. In August, a report from Reuters suggested Apple could provide Sharp with financial incentives to speed up production and help with high costs cutting into the company’s margins on displays.

Sharp recently announced its first tablet to use the IGZO display technology. The displays are expected to go into mass production by the end of the year, so it’s certainly possible next generation iPads could take advantage.

LG Display Stories October 17, 2012

Smartphone parts supplier ETrade Supply just posted alleged leaked OEM parts of the iPad mini’s nearly 8-inch LCD screen and 4490mAh battery.

Apple’s much-discussed iPad mini is set to unveil at the company’s media event next Tuesday, and today’s parts pictures possibly confirm earlier reports and give a sneak peak as to what to expect from the folks in Cupertino.

The device’s display is “about 162mm in length and 124mm in width,” according to ETrade Supply, with a ratio of 4:3. Labeling on the back also indicates LG Display manufactures the part.

Image gallery is below.

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LG Display Stories September 13, 2012

After weeks of delays, Sharp begins shipping iPhone 5 displays to Apple

After weeks of delays and claims about Sharp not being ready for mass production of the next-generation iPhone screens, The Wall Street Journal reported Sharp is now delivering iPhone 5 displays to Apple with mass production beginning earlier this week. The Wall Street Journal seemed confident that Sharp, LG Display, and Japan Display are the only display suppliers of initial iPhone 5 shipments—with no mention of Samsung.

Mass production of the screens for the iPhone 5, which Apple unveiled Wednesday, began earlier this week at Sharp’s factory in central Japan, the person said…That Sharp has started delivering screens could ease concerns about whether Apple will have enough components to meet global demand for the new iPhone. Sharp is one of the three suppliers of the screens, the others being Japan Display Inc. and South Korea’s LG Display Co…

LG Display Stories September 7, 2012

Apple’s new products will keep the display supply chain busy for the rest of 2012

DisplaySearch analyst David Hsieh noted today that Apple’s upcoming product launches and refreshes will keep the LCD supply chain in Asia very occupied during the remainder of 2012.

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.

LG Display Stories June 19, 2012

[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… expand full story

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