Liquid crystal display Stories January 14, 2016

Samsung-building-night

Korea’s ET News claims that Samsung will become Apple’s primary supplier of OLED display panels, stating that an agreement has “practically been decided.” Samsung is reportedly gearing-up for the contract with an initial investment of between $2.49B and $3.32B in plant and equipment, rising to $7.47B depending on order levels.

Apple currently uses OLED displays in the Watch. Rumors that it will switch to OLED for the iPhone have been doing the rounds for many years, but have been getting much more specific of late. The switch is said to be happening in 2018, with Apple recently reported to be ‘close to agreement‘ with suppliers. The most recent report named both Samsung and LG as likely suppliers …

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Liquid crystal display Stories December 30, 2015

oled

Rumors that Apple will be switching from IPS LCD to OLED displays for future iPhones have been doing the rounds for many years – though the latest one reported by Reuters does get a little more specific than most.

LG and Samsung Display are close to a final agreement with Apple for the screens, the Electronic Times report said, adding the two Korean firms plan a combined 15 trillion won ($12.8 billion) in capital expenditure to build up OLED production capacity over the next two to three years.

It was claimed last month that Apple plans to start using OLED screens for iPhones starting in 2018, supporting an earlier report that Apple would be sticking with LCD for the iPhone 7.

There are pros and cons to the competing display technologies …

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Liquid crystal display Stories January 8, 2015

Latest rumor of OLED displays in iPhones inspired by report on Foxconn display factory

There are always rumors around that Apple is planning to switch from LCD to thinner, brighter, more power-efficient OLED displays in its iPhones. The latest is a report seemingly originating on Japanese newspaper Nikkan Kogyo Shimbun cited by GforGames via a Chinese site … So take it with the usual large pinch of salt.

Bloomberg reported back in November that Foxconn was building a new $2.6B display factory whose output would be exclusively devoted to Apple. The headline was quickly changed to remove the reference to Apple, though the piece still strongly hinted at Apple being the sole client. This latest report says that the factory in question will be making only OLED displays.

It’s worth noting that, even if the factory is indeed making displays only for Apple, and even if all those displays are indeed OLED ones, that still doesn’t necessarily mean you can expect OLED displays in next year’s iPhones. Apple has already announced that the Apple Watch will use OLED displays, so it’s possible that the company is simply diversifying its supply chain for these. LG is currently slated as the primary supplier of Apple Watch displays.

While OLED has a number of advantages over LCD displays, it is more expensive to manufacture, so a switch is not one that Apple would make without a careful cost-benefit analysis.

Liquid crystal display Stories November 28, 2013

displaymate

DisplayMate, a company specializing in scientific display testing and calibration, gave the Retina iPad Mini third place in detailed lab tests of three leading 7-inch tablets, criticising Apple for “really bad planning” for what it considers to be out-dated display technology.

And finally… the iPad mini with Retina Display unfortunately comes in with a distant 3rd place finish behind the innovative displays on the Kindle Fire HDX 7 and new Nexus 7 […]

All of this reliance on IGZO is really bad planning… Right now there is a readily available display technology that has much higher performance than IGZO. It’s Low Temperature Poly Silicon LTPS, and it is used in all of the iPhones and in all of Samsung OLEDs (so it’s available in large quantities). Two innovative tablet manufacturers, Amazon and Google, have significantly leapfrogged Apple by introducing Tablet displays using LTPS (in the Kindle Fire HDX 8.9 and the new Nexus 7), and they are significantly outperforming the IGZO and a-Si displays in the current iPads. Apple is now lagging in displays, an area where it was once the leader…  expand full story

Liquid crystal display Stories February 8, 2013

Apple hires AMOLED TV Application Expert James (Jueng-Gil) Lee from LG

According to reports originating from OLED-A.org (via OLED-Info), Apple has hired OLED expert Dr. James (Jueng-Gil) Lee. He was previously a senior researcher on LG Display’s R&D team and worked on printed AMOLED TVs. Lee was also a researcher with Cambridge Display Technology before joining LG, and he was the R&D head for LCD technology development at Samsung.

According to his LinkedIn, Lee was working on “OLED Technology Development for TV Application” at LG. At Samsung, he “successfully started the first three generations LCD production lines.” He also “showed track of records in yield improvement, productivity improvement, manufacturing cost reduction and new technology transfer into production line.”

Too bad Apple doesn’t make a television.

Liquid crystal display Stories December 1, 2012

21.5 iMac teardown late 2012

While we had some pictures of a brief teardown earlier this week, iFixit has now completed its ritual teardown of the new 21.5-inch iMac that officially went on sale on Friday.

Unfortunately, iFixit described the process as an “exercise in disappointment,” noting the iMac’s new thinner design introduces new hurdles for repairability. Most notably, the device’s glass and LCD are now glued directly to the iMac’s frame, while accessing the RAM, CPU, and hard drive will now mean having to remove the entire logic board:

The late 2012 iMac 21.5″ — code-named EMC 2544 — is an exercise in disappointment for us. We were quite worried when we saw that super-thin bezel during Apple’s keynote, and unfortunately we were correct: the glass and LCD are now glued to the iMac’s frame with incredibly strong adhesive. Gone are the lovely magnets that held the glass in place in iMacs of yesteryear.

A few things noted in iFixit’s highlights: a new rubber housing that “dampens the vibrations from the spinning hard drive,” a new single fan layout, dual microphones, and a 5mm thinner LG made display. Those are some of the highlights of Apple’s new design, but iFixit is scoring the new iMac as a 3 out of 10 (down from 7 last year) due to the many issues with repairability. Here are just a few:

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Liquid crystal display Stories November 2, 2012

iFixit tears down the fourth-generation Retina iPad, finds LG display

Lines are a little bit shorter than most expect from an Apple product launch, but today Apple’s new iPad lineup, the mini and fourth-generation with Retina, officially go on sale. While the new fourth-generation Retina iPad is not a whole lot different from the iPad 3 it replaced, iFixit has took apart the new iPad to find out the exact changes made on the inside.

A few things of note: iFixit found the LCD is manufactured by LG, as opposed to the likely Samsung-manufactured display found on the iPad mini. We also get a peek at the new A6X and the new Lightning connector. Unfortunately, Apple doesn’t appear to have taken advantage of the potential to save space with the new connector:

Apple didn’t save any space by switching to the smaller Lightning connector (lower); rather they let the Lightning cable sit in a frame the same size as the 30-pin dock connector (upper)… We were hoping that space savings would yield bigger, better speakers. Very disappointing, indeed.

Apart from the slightly upgraded front-facing camera, most other components, such as RAM and the battery, appear to be the same as iPad 3:

Liquid crystal 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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We heard reports in the past that Apple passed on Sharp’s IGZO display tech for the third-generation iPad due to Sharp not having the tech ready in time. Going with Sharp’s IGZO tech would have allowed for a thinner display assembly, a brighter display with less LEDs, and the ability to use a smaller battery or extend battery life specs as a result. It could have also helped shave off some of the increased weight and depth of the new iPad. These are all things we witnessed first hand when we got up close and personal with a few IGZO demos at IFA this year.  Sharp is announcing today its first 7-inch tablet to use the display technology, claiming the 1,280-by-800 IGZO display allows for 2.5 times the battery life from the tablet’s 2,040mAh battery (via ComputerWorld).

With the iPad mini launch coming later this month, it is a possibility the tech is finally ready for Apple to take advantage. Sharp also has 10-inch and 13-inch variants of the IGZO displays, but the 7-inch would of course make a lot of sense for iPad mini given what we already know about the device. Apple’s ability to increase battery life, or simply have the ability to use a smaller battery (in a smaller form factor) while maintaining battery life specs, is just one benefit. Another big benefit for Apple would be narrow borders: rumor has it—which is something we also talked about a lot in the past—the iPad mini will have a much narrower border than previous-generation iPads. Sharp told us its IGZO LCDs can be built with a bezel under 2mm, and it was showing off a demo display with a 1.75mm border at IFA. That would definitely fit the bill for the narrow-border, one-handed experience we expect from iPad mini. expand full story

Liquid crystal display Stories August 20, 2012

I think it is safe to say we are seeing an unprecedented number of upcoming iPhone parts from the supply chain this time around and one of the few remaining parts yet pictured not only started showing up over the weekend…it is also on sale. For $199, you can pick up (update: out of stock) the “iPhone 5” LCD Screen complete with digitizer assembly. The part looks to be a taller 1,136-by-640-pixel display but obviously, “buyers beware.”

UbreakIfix relayed by MacRumors posted the first images of the new iPhone display over the weekend. Perhaps it purchased the display from ChinaGadgetLand—the parts look very similar.

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The ChinaGadgetLand description reads:

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Liquid crystal display Stories August 8, 2012

You might remember a couple months ago when our friends at iFixit tore down the new Retina MacBook Pro. Unfortunately, the device received its lowest repairability score with the company calling it “the least repairable laptop”. While the new MacBooks provide possibly Apple’s least accessible and upgradeable design out of the box, iFixit updated its website today with its official 2012 MacBook Pro Retina repair guide to make it as easy as possible. Fifteen separate installation guides for the AirPort Board, battery, fans, logic board, speakers, SSD, trackpad, etc., are included in the repair guide with one maintenance guide for reapplying thermal paste to the CPU and GPU.

Many components within the laptop can be removed without much fuss, provided folks use the correct tools. Pentalobe screws hold the lower case in place and Torx screws secure everything else. Spudgers and plastic opening tools are absolutely necessary, as many of the components are designed with such tight tolerances that using fingertips is simply not an option.

Fair warning: working on the laptop is no easy task. Some repairs are simply infeasible. For example, there is no way to replace the trackpad without removing the battery. And while it’s possible to remove the battery, chances are high that it will be punctured in the process. Puncturing Lithium-polymer batteries releases noxious fumes and can cause fires. Additionally, removing the LCD glass from the aluminum frame will almost certainly break the glass. So components residing under the LCD — such as the FaceTime camera — will have to be replaced with the entire assembly… Finding replacements for the machine’s proprietary components is currently difficult. We’re working to source parts, but it may take some time.

iFixit also estimated that third-party battery replacements —if done correctly— could cost over $500:

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Liquid crystal display Stories June 20, 2012

iFixit tears down the refreshed MacBook Pro, compares repairability to Retina MBP

Since the introduction of Apple’s refreshed Mac lineup earlier this month, iFixit has torn apart the new machines one at a time starting with the new 13-inch MacBook Air, then the Retina MacBook Pro, and finally the Retina display itself (which it later confirmed is made by Philips). Today, it is venturing inside the refreshed MacBook Pro and comparing it to the Retina model:

As for the tear down itself, iFixit found the refreshed MacBook Pro lineup, which has the same overall design and is largely unchanged on the inside too. More interesting is how the Retina MBP (1/10 repairability score) and refreshed last-gen MBP (7/10 repairability score) compare:

The regular MacBook Pro is always cited first, compared to the MacBook Pro with Retina Display:

* Use of regular vs. proprietary screws. This is a no-brainer in our books — there’s absolutely no benefit from using a proprietary pentalobe screw type in any electronic device, aside from keeping users out of it.

* The battery is exactly the same capacity as last year’s model: 77.5 Wh at 10.95 V. It’s the same size as well, a solid 13.8 mm in thickness. The MacBook Pro with Retina Display’s battery varies in thickness from 5.25 mm to 8.60 mm depending on which cell you measure, and it has a plastic frame around some of the cells. Although the discrepancy is large between the two battery thicknesses, the Retina MacBook Pro’s battery (seen here http://bit.ly/retina_battery) is spread out over a much larger surface area. It would’ve taken some engineering, but Apple could expand the frame in the Retina MacBook Pro to encompass the whole battery, and allow it to come out as a singular, non-glued unit.

* Here’s a big difference: the regular MacBook Pro 2.5″ SATA hard drive is 9.45 mm thick, compared to 3.16 mm for the SSD found in the Retina Display MacBook Pro. But the SSD is one of the few things that is actually removable from the Retina version, and Apple *could* use a non-proprietary mSATA connector so folks could replace the drive with an off-the-shelf unit.

* While the individual RAM modules are thin (~3.15 mm), the “stacked” RAM slots in the regular MacBook Pro are a whopping 9.15 mm thick. Yet the entire Retina MacBook Pro is only 18 mm thick, and allocating half of that dimension to RAM slots would be a big sacrifice. But, an individual RAM slot is only 4.27 mm thick; if the design of the logic board featured the RAM slots side by side (like older MacBooks), folks could still replace their RAM for years to come.

* While the regular MacBook Pro display may not be Retinalicious, a cracked LCD will still be the most expensive repair (aside from the logic board) on this machine. Thankfully, users can replace just the LCD instead of the entire assembly. Incorporating a removable LCD into the MacBook Pro with Retina display would increase the thickness by less than a millimeter, while still preserving the awesome Retina resolution.

* We love the optical drive in the regular MacBook Pro because we appreciate the additional space given by adding a second hard drive (using one of our SATA enclosures: http://bit.ly/sata_enclosure). A significant portion of the weight savings in the Retina MacBook Pro comes from Apple’s removal of the optical drive. While the lack of an optical drive won’t be major imposition for many, the inability to inexpensively add a secondary, high capacity spinning drive is definitely a significant loss in terms of upgradability.

Liquid crystal 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.

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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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Liquid crystal display Stories June 8, 2012

Canon unveils EOS Rebel T4i with better video focus, silent lenses

The EOS T4i is a new entry-level DSLR just announced by Canon for its popular Rebel line.

The T4i notably boasts a revamped 18-megapixel APS-C CMOS sensor and advanced autofocus functions when coupled with one of two new STM lens. Its cross-type AF with two-dimensional phase- and contrast-detection, with one of the STM lenses, provides a highly accurate focus despite frame composition. This tech is useful for both video and still shooting.

The first new lens is the EF-S 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS STM for $550, while the second is the EF 40mm f/2.8 STM for $200. The latter is more commonly known as a “pancake lens” that offers a silent zoom with better focusing for video. With these options, the camera should take a second to focus during video recording, but autofocus performance in low light should amaze for stills.

A few of the camera’s specs include a swing-arm 3-inch Clear View LCD display with “fingertip” controls, which means users can touch navigate through controls and menus, while physical options are still available. Video modes include 1080 with 30p, 25p and 24p, 1080/60i and 50i, but VGA shoots at 30 and 25 fps. This little DSLR can even capture up to five consecutive fps. The T4i also packs a built-in stereo microphone, mic input jack, and the familiar LP-E8 battery pack with an 1120mAh capacity.

The EOS Rebel T4i is set to roll out at the end of June at $849.99 for the body alone; $949.99 bundled with an EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS II lens kit, or a “Movie Kit bundle” for $1199.00 with the new EF-S 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS STM lens.

The press-release with pre-order links are below.

Liquid crystal display Stories April 13, 2012

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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Liquid crystal display Stories April 2, 2012

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) expand full story

Liquid crystal display Stories March 27, 2012

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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Liquid crystal display Stories February 17, 2012

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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Liquid crystal display Stories February 9, 2012

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Liquid crystal display Stories February 8, 2012

Full-sized, below.

Since a purported iPad 3 back-shell image leaked earlier today, we have dug into the story to uncover where it originally came from and some of the intricate details behind the part. For one, there are not only a few of these back-shells floated to repair shops, but there are sizable amounts of these parts built-in China. This gives credence to reports about the iPad 3 is in production, and it likely means things are moving full steam ahead of the rumored-March launch.

Next, the original image comes from a Chinese supplier who provides parts to iPad repair shops across the globe.

Perhaps the best news of the night is that we have a very high-resolution version of the image. Click the image below to view the full super high-res version. The iPad 3 rumors include the device to have a Retina Display, faster processor, improved graphics, and better cameras. As hinted by these back-shells and earlier rumors, the iPad 3 will likely sport a design that closely mirrors the iPad 2 design.

Update: Our friends at Apple.pro also obtained photos of the iPad 3 back shell, and they have a photo of the outer back portion. It appears that the camera lens is larger than the iPad 2 camera lens, and they confirmed the iPad 3 would feature magnets to support the Smart Cover. You can catch that photo after the break as well.

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Liquid crystal display Stories January 1, 2012

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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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Liquid crystal display Stories December 7, 2011

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According to Macotakara, the next generation iPad will be thicker and therefore won’t be compatible with all current iPad 2 cases.  That however won’t affect Apple’s Smart Covers which only cover the front.  They believe that the front screen will be the same as the other iPads, with the same types of corners and bezel as well.

We don’t know what that image is up there but Macotakara seems to imply it is a case for the new iPad. Update: The case is for the original iPad 3G according to its seller.  expand full story

Liquid crystal display Stories November 22, 2011

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. expand full story

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