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Do Apple use the best screens? they look to the future with IGZO

Whether you love them or loathe them, Apple have always adopted good screens into their products. Recently I made a walk around in PCWORLD and was immediately impressed with the quality of the screens on the Apple Macbook computers. It hasn’t came as a surprise that analysts claim a lot of their success is down to the choice of panels they buy. But what are the plans for the future?

Richard Shim, an analyst at DisplaySearch says that they may be adopting Sharp’s IGZO (indium gallium zinc oxide) technology inside future iPads. Shim said in a phone interview “For Sharp, IGZO is a big deal.”

If they can start making the screens en masse for Apple then they could very well be positioned as a market leader and industry standard in the coming years.

Sharp’s IGZO offer many benefits for Apple down the line, with lower power consumption and improved brightness. Not to mention the much debated resolution of 2048 x 1536 on the iPad 3.

Insiders claim that Apple have invested millions of dollars into Sharp’s manufacturing facilities hedging their bets that Sharp will be able to produce tens of millions of panels for the upcoming iPad 3 release.

Shim said that Sharp are the only manufacturer who can make the IGZO display’s. If they work solely with Apple then they look set to lead the market over the coming years.

Apple have always been the pioneers of using leading panel technology.

CNET say IPS: “IPS was marginal for a long time and largely ignored until Apple said it was important,” said Shim, referring to In-Plane Switching technology, now trumpeted by virtually every display supplier because of the viewing angles it provides. “All of sudden a moribund technology became important in the market,” he said.

As was so often the case with Apple, the late Steve Jobs was the proselytizer-in-chief. “IPS was really ignored in the notebook market [and] was written off until [Steve] Jobs started talking about it on stage,” according to Shim.

Gorilla Glass: The same can be said largely of Corning’s Gorilla Glass. “Gorilla Glass was not a big deal. In fact [Corning] didn’t know what to do with it. [Then] Jobs called up Wendell Weeks [CEO] at Corning and said, hey, I want to use this glass. Then all of sudden it becomes popular,” said Shim.

Of course it would be remiss not to mention the Retina display on Apple’s iPhone 4 and 4S–a major selling point for both those phones. And that appears to be what Apple is trying to achieve with the next iPad.”

Kitguru says: The iPad 3 looks set to redefine the tablet market. If they can get an exclusive partnership with Sharp IGZO it will certainly help them.

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