RUMOR: Delayed Retina iPad mini launch blamed on Sharp IGZO display burn-in issues, Apple turns to Samsung

“A rumor out of the Far East claims issues relating to burn-in on Sharp-made LCD panels is holding up Apple’s release of the iPad mini with Retina display, supposedly prompting the company to seek help from Samsung,” AppleInsider reports.

“Citing an industry source, Korean language publication ETNews claims Apple partner manufacturer Sharp is having problems with its advanced IGZO display technology, causing low yield rates for Retina panels bound for the second-generation iPad mini,” AppleInsider reports. “This unforeseen setback is purportedly slowing down the production process substantially, leading Apple to look elsewhere for additional supply.”

AppleInsider reports, “While Sharp is thought to be Apple’s secondary Retina display supplier for the new mini, the company is reportedly responsible for 40 percent of all orders, with LG taking the remaining 60 percent. According to the report, LG is using a different, more common substrate called amorphous silicon, or a-Si, for its TFTs. Apple may be looking to Samsung for display supply for the Retina mini starting in 2014, as the Korean tech giant’s low temperature polycrystalline silicon (LTPS) technology is not affected by the burn-in issue, the source said. ”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Regardless of the veracity of this report, iPad mini with Retina display units are going to be difficult to get ahold of this Christmas. This is shaping up as the unfotunate sequel to Apple’s Great iMac Drought of Christmas 2012.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Lynn Weiler” for the heads up.]


  1. Sharp seems to be in trouble. Horace Dediu believes that Apple spent billions to prop up the company, for one, but they’ve had problems like this in the past. Back in 2005/6, they were caught in a price fixing scandal for Nintendo DS displays. I wonder if they will ever get their house in order.

  2. OMG! It the end of the world. Having to ask Samdung for help. No wonder Sharp is going bankrupt. I starting to think about waiting for the third generation iPad mini before buying. Beside retina, I really want touch ID.

    1. This story is tabloid nonsense. Apple’s display are made simultaneously by few different competing manufacturers. Whenever there is an issue Apple just adjusts the volume between manufacturers. There is nothing dramatic about it, no one asks for help or anything.

  3. MDN: great nothing drought, last xmas season was another record breaking retail sales season for Apple, as will be this one.

    It’s good to have, not only one hit product, but multiple ones.

    Apple will own retail sales again this holiday season, no matter how much FUD gets thrown in or after.

    1. You better check your facts.

      Apple was *way* behind on iMac orders until will into February 2013 (besides not being able to even order an iMac for as much as 6+ weeks after they were announced).

      Apple’s horrific lack of supply on many items in the fourth calendar quarter of 2012 was a complete embarrassment. Anyone who says otherwise either does not know the facts, is self delusional, or is lying. It’s that simple.

  4. Bullshit story. You’d think that nobody has ever heard of, or executed a staggered launch plan that favors the more profitable products first.

    Apple, along with other firms, does this all the time.

    Stories/rumors such as this one serve only to bait the uninformed and create eyeballs for advertisers. Its amazing that these stories pop with each new product launch/refresh, and yet Apple turns in record sales numbers. You’d think that after two or three cycles of this nonsense readership would figure it out. That they haven’t is the real story.

    1. Exactly what I was thinking. They have always done that so that people that just can’t wait for the next new thing will buy the more expensive iPad air. Nice plan.

    2. I’d appreciate a shred of factual information regarding this allegation of Apple-created FUD. If it’s true, I’ll be in perfect sympathy.

      But right now, this just sounds like FUD mongering by either the PAID or the PARANOID.

  5. FUD. Two stories this morning about iPad burn-in. Next: someone’s pants (huge pocket) or carry-on bag flames out…just sayin’ Sammy is behind this somehow.

  6. Apple doesn’t wait until the last minute to check a display for quality requirements. Sure sometimes things slip through, like the original retina macbook pro screens that LG made (they showed burn in/after image) while the samsung screens were just fine. It wasn’t obvious at first…
    To think Apple is only just now getting around to checking on the mini retina display quality is beyond belief.
    It’s much more likely that Apple is going to samsung for additional production capacity based a revised view of how many minis they’ll sell.

  7. What miffs me here is that apparently Apple is not mandating a single standard for each part of its devices.

    I know part of the reason I’m miffed is that I don’t understand what’s involved with using multiple manufacturers for parts. But I do so much expect Apple to do better and have ONE standard display for the iPad Mini. Then they and the customer don’t, theoretically, have to worry about what manufacturer made the part, hoping and praying they don’t get the X-made part.

    This isn’t a new issue. I recognize that as well.

  8. Doubt that Apple has designed for two different display technologies in a supposedly unique device. If one turns out to be substantially worse or better and Apple didn’t disclose which technology was going to be delivered to the individual prior to purchase, the lawsuits will erupt like Mt Vesuvius. Don’t believe this for a second.

    1. Modern plasma TVs do not burn in either. They do, however, produce noticeably superior contrast and black levels than LCD displays. For 1080p resolution home cinema, the only attraction to LCD is that there are many cheap manufacturers pushing them out. One would think that someone who is willing to pay a premium price for Apple products would also be willing to pay the small premium for a Panasonic plasma display as well.

    1. I used to be a big fan of IGZO technology, primarily because of the increases in battery life. Now, however, I am not sure that IGZO is the optimal technological option for Apple. It seems that the lifespan of IGZO displays are 75% less than Retina displays. This reduces the practical lifespan of the device.

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