DigiTimes, continuing its spree of Apple rumors, now reports that Apple would be using IGZO (indium gallium zinc oxide) flat panels instead of IPS (in-plane switching panels) in future products like the iPad 3.
Starting with the new iPads, Apple will utilize IGZO panels from Sharp in order to upgrade the display resolution of the new tablets to full HD level, the sources [in Apple's supply chain] indicated.
As MacRumors notes, this isn’t the first time we’ve heard chatter about Apple using IGZO panels in their future products. Jefferies analyst Peter Misek, in a research note, made similar claims in November :
we believe that Apple and Sharp together have a modified IGZO (indium, gallium, zinc) technology to achieve 330 dpi, which is sufficient for an HD display while not using IPS nor having to include dual-bar LED backlighting. In our view, this should lead to several design advantages, namely the device can be thinner, battery life should be longer, and the overall experience for users should be meaningfully improved.
IGZO panels allow high resolution displays to be compact, energy efficient and cheaper to manufacture. A press release issued by Sharp in April this year, notes that these panels would be manufactured alongside LCD panels for TVs in a Japanese plant.
If various reports are to be believed, Sharp is increasingly becoming an important supplier of components used in Apple products including the rumored Apple Television. The relationship between the two companies is blossoming, with Apple reportedly working with Sharp on a billion dollar facility in China to produce displays for iOS devices. (Maybe the deteriorating Apple-Samsung relationship is to blame, or it’s just that Sharp is innovating at a better rate.)
Knowing Apple’s trend of trimming down on device dimensions, this claim sounds much more likely than DigiTimes’ bizarre claim of Apple returning to Macworld (which has been rubbished by well-sourced writer Jim Dalrymple).