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April 20, 2010

iPad 2.0 will get OLED display?

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by Darren Allan

More Apple rumours – as if you haven’t had enough of them already this week. However, this one isn’t about the iPhone, but its super-sized big brother, the iPad.

DigiTimes has published an article saying that Apple has reportedly begun development of the second incarnation of the iPad, and sources “in the component industry” have said it will use an OLED display.

These sources cite the fact that the major panel manufacturers are investing more in OLED production, thus prices will drop to make the technology viable for the iPad 2.0 when it’s launched at some stage next year.

However, an analyst at DigiTimes itself doubts this will be the case. He’s of the mind that the pricing of the panels won’t have dropped by that much in 2011.

Currently, a 10 inch OLED panel would run to a cost of around seven times as much as the equivalent LCD version.

Another analyst told TechEye a similar story – that this could only be possible if the second generation iPad was launched much further down the line than next year, as there were major design issues to take into account.

Andy Barker, Analyst Director for Meko Ltd, told TechEye: “In production terms with the panels, it is very, very difficult to produce because the heat of the motherboard is coming into very close proximity to the glass.”

“This causes different technical effects such as a fault called Newton’s rings – concentric rings on the panel. Producing a tablet is not like another notebook or another netbook. So changing the technology to something like OLED is a major change, also with service and support issues.”

We’re inclined to believe this one isn’t happening, too. The iPad is seen as an expensive enough luxury as it is, really, so even a modest price increase might be difficult for some to stomach. Let alone a substantial hike.


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