Sharp’s IGZO display production issues forced Apple settle on Plan B for new iPad, says expert

“I use the gen 3 iPad pretty much every day and have relegated my older iPad 2 to backup duty. In other words, I like the new iPad and love the 2048×1536-pixel, 264-pixels-per-inch (ppi) Retina display. (Not to mention the 4G LTE),” Brooke Crothers reports for CNET. “Still, the fact that the newer version is thicker and heavier than the older one strikes me as being at odds with Jobsian philosophy.”

“Some analysts are now saying that the gen 3 iPad design that made it out the door earlier this year was Plan B for Apple,” Crothers reports. “That’s what Raymond Soneira, the founder, president and CEO of DisplayMate Technologies, is saying, and he knows a lot more than me about the ins and outs of the newest iPad. ‘The plan was to use this new technology called IGZO from Sharp — a lot higher electron mobility that allows them to make the transistors a lot smaller and the circuit elements a lot smaller,’ he said.”

Crothers reports, “There was one problem, though. Sharp didn’t have its IGZO display tech ready in time. So, Apple had to fall back on more conventional amorphous silicon technology.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Regardless, the new iPad’s display has spoiled us beyond repair. All other tablet screens, and even past iPad models’ displays, look grainy, rough, and cheap.

Now, we can all look forward to lighter, thinner IGZO-based next-gen iPads in 2013!

Thanks to Apple for pushing the envelope. As usual.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Fred Mertz” for the heads up.]

Related articles:
Analyst: Retina display production issues persist for Apple iPad – April 23, 2012
Sharp announces production of world’s first IGZO LCD Panels – April 13, 2012
After using Apple’s new iPad with Retina display, old iPad screens become absolutely unacceptable – March 30, 2012
Apple ‘iTV’ beckons as jackpot in Hon Hai’s Sharp gamble – March 28, 2012
Foxconn-Sharp partnership likely targeting Apple orders – March 28, 2012
Taiwan Apple supplier Hon Hai becomes Sharp’s largest shareholder with 10% stake – March 28, 2012
Apple to unveil smaller 7.85-inch iPad this year, says anonymous Samsung official – March 13, 2012
Wow, Sharp sure is ramping up IGZO display production for some reason – March 2, 2012
Apple iTV unlikely to launch in 2012 due to IGZO display panel manufacturing concerns, sources say – February 3, 2012

Rush Limbaugh reviews new Apple iPad: ‘It is amazing, it really is; and we’re giving one away each day’ – March 20, 2012
DisplayMate: New Apple iPad Retina display decisively blows away all other tablets – March 20, 2012
Apple sells over 3 million new iPads in three days – March 19, 2012
Computerworld reviews new Apple iPad: ‘Gorgeous; the new king of the tablet hill’ – March 19, 2012
Paul Thurrot reviews new Apple iPad: ‘The best tablet on the market by far; the only tablet currently worth considering’ – March 18, 2012
PC Magazine reviews new Apple iPad: ‘The finest large-screen tablet; a truly gorgeous screen; Editor’s Choice’ – March 17, 2012
Daring Fireball’s Gruber reviews new Apple iPad: ‘Pixels pixels pixels. Battery battery battery. Speed speed speed.’ – March 15, 2012
Fox News’ Morris reviews new Apple iPad: ‘Easily the best tablet I’ve ever seen; a giant leap for connected mankind’ (with video) – March 15, 2012
The Verge’s Topolsky reviews new Apple iPad: ‘Otherworldly; easily the most beautiful computer display I have ever looked at’ – March 15, 2012
NYT’s Pogue reviews new Apple iPad: ‘Incredibly sharp and clear; dazzling’ – March 15, 2012
WSJ’s Mossberg reviews new Apple iPad: ‘The best tablet on the planet’ – March 15, 2012
USA Today’s Baig reviews new Apple iPad: ‘The finest tablet you can buy – period’ – March 15, 2012


  1. I love the new iPad as it is. Quite impossible to see or feel that it is “thicker” than the iPad 2. Reading experience is better than ever before. Apple did a great job!

    1. Yep. I was looking at my wife’s iPad 2 the other day after having used my iPad (3) since 16 March, and it looked not-so-good in comparison.

  2. This DisplayMate guy is competent in display quality, management, calibration, but this IGZO issue is profuction/manufacturing thing, he is no expert in that.

    IGZO hardly was ever “plan A” thing, and Jobs probably personally used test Retina iPad during latest months of his life. Remember that iOS was updated to handle Retina images back in Spring of 2011. And it takes about half year to prepare new iPad start.

    This means that Apple had pre-production process for displays like year ago, and IGZO will only able to deliver high quantity volumes by late of this year.

    Hardly Apple would rely on new technology as “Plan A” when it was never used for real mass production before.

  3. Also, the main difference in those display technologies is not IGZO-transisors are thinner/smaller, but rather that those are more translucent. It takes both structure and the material itself to be more translucent.

    In the end, iPad would be lighter and thinner thanks to IGZO as it consumes a lot less battery life.

  4. As the owner of an original iPad, all this whining about the weight of the new iPad is quite silly. I like the substance of the iPad and if I wanted something cheap and flimsy, I’d get a galaxy poo.

  5. I’ve been browsing online more than 3 hours today, yet I never found any interesting article like yours. It is pretty worth enough for me. In my view, if all website owners and bloggers made good content as you did, the web will be a lot more useful than ever before.

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