Report: Sharp seeks to secure display controls for new iPad models



Sharp is looking to secure future orders for iPad screens, says new report from Digitimes. The display manufacturer is adjusting its production allocations from LTPS panels towards OLED and IGZO production.

The company plans to sign contracts with Apple to supply displays for the new iPad models.

Apple has been using IGZO panels in iPads since the original iPad Pro from 2015. IGZO semiconductors enable higher resolution panels with better battery efficiency.

Apple has fluctuated between multiple display vendors for its tablets, sharing controls between Samsung Display, LG, and Sharp over several generations.

Many expect to see a new iPad at next week’s education event, although it’s likely a simple review of the 2017 iPad at $ 329.

The next flagship iPads are rumored to debut in the fall, featuring an iPhone X-esque bezel design and Face ID authentication.

The report says Sharp is also looking to expand OLED production. Apple currently relies solely on Samsung for the manufacture of its “Super” Retina display used in the iPhone X, but Apple likes to have multiple suppliers for parts supply.

In general, having access to multiple vendors allows Apple to secure returns, reduce risk if a vendor struggles to meet demand, and encourage price competitiveness.

To date, Samsung is the only manufacturer capable of meeting Apple’s demand for millions of iPhone screens. Sharp and LG Display are both trying to quickly ramp up their OLED capacity to grab a piece of Apple’s pie.

Apple’s new 2018 iPhone lineup is expected to include 2 models with OLED displays, a successor to the iPhone X and a larger “iPhone X Plus”, as well as an LCD device.


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