Apple is said to be in meetings with Japanese company Sharp about the use of the firm’s IGZO display technology in upcoming iPhones and iPads, but low yield rates have driven Apple to also consider other Asian display makers to shore up its supply chain.
According to the DigiTimes, sources have said the iPhone maker is assessing Sharp’s IGZO panel production abilities for the coming year before using the technology in its forthcoming iPhone, iPad and iPad Mini devices.
Apple first showed an interest in Sharp’s IGZO — indium, gallium and zinc oxide — technology in late 2011. According to Apple Insider, the technology would enable Apple to have high-definition displays in its products without the use of IPS, which currently is used in the iPhone and iPad.
Although the screens are thinner and more efficient than those presently used in its devices, Apple was not able to use the technology due to production problems. Sharp has only recently debuted its first IGZO panels with its own mobile products in Japan.
According to Apple Insider, production rates remain a concern for Apple and the iPhone maker is reportedly assessing if its display partner AU Optronics’ “L5C” line can be used to turn out the progressive panels.
Also, Innolux was apparently given a license to produce IGZO displays, which could be a sign the Taiwanese firm could supply Apple with displays.
Apple has traditionally used Samsung’s liquid crystal display (LCD) displays in its devices, but it has been reported the iPhone maker has been ordering fewer Samsung-manufactured displays because it is doing business with some of Samsung’s rivals, attracted by lower prices.
The relationship between the two companies soured last year when the iPhone maker launched a lawsuit against the South Korean company, claiming it had infringed on Apple’s copyright by copying the look and feel of the iPhone and iPad. Samsung has since responded in kind.
The companies are now embroiled in a patent fracas in 10 countries as each accuses the other of copying one another’s mobile devices.