iPad mini rumors continue to swirl as the niche product starts to sound plausible
Apple is reportedly pushing forward with plans to launch a “mini” iPad with "G/F2" thin-film touch technology from suppliers Nitto, Nissha Printing and TPK. The rumors are beginning to sound plausible for the first time.Despite DigiTimes’ hit-and-miss track record, it is worth pointing out that not only aren’t these rumors stopping, but they’re beginning to pick up steam.
Reportedly, three key suppliers have been tapped to supply key components which, put together, make up the 7.85-inch display for Apple’s iPad mini. Supply chain sources say Nitto will be providing the thin-film materials, with Nissha Printing and TPK producing the touch screens.
The reasons for Apple delving into a niche market are said to be related to competition, which corroborates an iMore report citing trusted sources as saying that Apple wants to “leave absolutely no space for competitors.”
The G/F2 design is said to enable more cost-efficient production and thinner displays, as it requires one less layer of film than the current G/F/F (glass/film/film) structure used in displays everywhere.
“Using the G/F2 design will help reduce costs and will also make the iPad Mini thinner than previous iPad models since it will have one less layer of film than the G/F/F (glass/film/film) structure,” the sources reportedly said. “The G/F2 structure places the electrode on the top and bottome ends of the ITO film, which will then be laminated onto the cover glass.”
The same sources reportedly added that “iPad Mini will also be more transparent and will have good sensitivity despite certain skepticism with thin-film touch panels in the industry.”
The tablet is “predicted” to launch by the fourth quarter of 2012.