Apple to shift to IGZO displays next year, says report

In talks with Sharp and LG, Apple plans to expand energy-saving IGZO displays to the iPad and MacBook, says Korea's IT News as cited by PatentlyApple.

Lance Whitney Contributing Writer
Lance Whitney is a freelance technology writer and trainer and a former IT professional. He's written for Time, CNET, PCMag, and several other publications. He's the author of two tech books--one on Windows and another on LinkedIn.
Lance Whitney
Apple's iPad.
Apple's iPad Apple

Upcoming versions of the iPad and MacBook should offer a longer battery life, at least according to a new report.

Apple plans to brings IGZO displays to the iPad and MacBook, blog site Patently Apple said Wednesday, citing a report from Korea's IT News. If true, that means the technology would reach the iPad either this year or next and appear on the next MacBook, slated for release in the first half of 2014.

Apple has reportedly been chatting with Sharp and LG Display about producing the displays. Sources told IT News that Sharp is already increasing the production of IGZO screens, while LG is upgrading its existing OLED and LCD production lines to manufacture the needed displays.

IGZO (indium gallium zinc oxide) displays offer a few benefits over conventional displays, according to a DisplaySearch analyst who spoke with CNET in February 2012.

The thin-film transistors used in the screens can let more light in through the back, allowing for brighter displays. The number of blacklit LEDs can also be reduced, cutting the overall cost. Finally, IGZO displays use a high pixel density, which reduces the strain on the battery, leading to a longer battery life.

DisplaySearch analyst Charles Annis had speculated that Sharp might be tagged by Apple to supply the displays for the iPad 3 early last year. That obviously didn't pan out. But if the report from Korea's IT News is true, Sharp could expect a hefty amount of work filling orders for an upcoming iPad.