New display technology to allow Apple to reduce the footprint of its 9.7” tablet
The full-size iPad is getting a new refresh this year analysts say, and now DigiTimes claims through the usual “industry sources” that Apple is giving the iPad 5 a new screen technology used originally in the iPad mini.Launched late last year, the iPad mini notably uses G/F2 (DITO) thin-film type touch-screen technology, which helped Apple shave off millimeters in thickness to achieve one of the thinnest tablet PCs out there.
The company reportedly wants to do the same with its larger line of tablets. The fifth-generation iPad, in line to be released this year according to most analyst reports, will also be getting the DITO display, writes the Taiwanese trade publication.
“Apple's next generation 9.7-inch iPad will [...] use the same G/F2 (DITO) thin-film type touch screen structure as the company's iPad mini in order to make the device thinner and lighter,” the aforementioned industry sources are quoted as saying.
Moreover, Apple has reportedly weathered out all manufacturing problems initially incurred with production of the high-end panels – one of the reasons why the iPad mini isn’t cheaper, pundits say.
Japanese company Nitto will reportedly produce the thin-film materials, while Nissha Printing will deliver the touch-screen modules.
Taiwan’s TPK, a long-time Apple partner, will handle the lamination process, while LG Display (LGD) and Sharp will supply panels, the sources reportedly added.
Apple is believed to have moved its iPad refresh season to fall, while the iPhone upgrade cycle will reportedly shift to summer. In other words, unlike next year, this time around we’ll probably see the new iPhone first, then the next-generation iPad.
A Retina-enabled iPad mini is also in the works according to numerous reports. Most bets are on a late-2013 announcement for this product as well.