Reports from Chinese media have begun to spread stating that Apple will adopt Oxide LCD technology in its upcoming iPad Pro set to be released in the second half of 2015.
Apple has been known to use TFT LCD panels in its iPad products and there were market rumors that stated the company may even consider OLED panels from Korea makers Samsung Display and LG Display. However, taking into consideration panel supply and overall costs, Apple has gone with Oxide due to its overall performance versus cost ratio.
In terms of supply, Sharp is expected to become the main contender. Korean makers are expected to be next in line but due to competition from their parent companies LG Electronics and Samsung Electronics, Apple is hesitant to shift its focus to them and instead stick with Japanese maker Sharp for its supply. LG and Samsung may also act as secondary suppliers, the reports noted.
In addition to a 12.9-inch Oxide screen, the Chinese reports said the iPad will come equipped with a stylus in order to give the tablet differentiation over other iPads. Apple appears to be aiming for toward the professional and artistic segments with the device, the reports speculated.
Overall shipments of the 12.9-inch iPad are expected to fall between 5-6 million in 2015, with 3 million as a conservative number. Accumulative iPad shipments are expected to fall as low as 45 million due to influence from the iPhone 6.
Apple’s move to incorporate Sharp further into its supply chain follows news that Apple will invest over US$1 billion in display facilities that will cooperate with Sharp both in terms of production and R&D. Apple has seen increased pressure to deliver products to the market at a quicker pace but has been held up due to delays in panel supply as Samsung and LG give priority to their own companies.
Shifting to Oxide meanwhile means lower display costs for Apple, which currently account for over 60% of the iPad’s costs. Apple will be able to greatly increase its profits from the device through this method and will not sacrifice display quality due to Sharp’s advancements in Oxide developments with resolution and substrate quality.
Apple enthusiasts unfortunately will not see Apple talk about this device until late 2015 during its usual year-end event but will most likely hear updates about the Apple Watch, such as pricing and availability.
Various media sources have already said that Apple’s top-end model may cost as much as US$5,000 or more while other models are expected to be around $300-400. We at Mac Pokies also hope to hear new developments related iOS and App applications with the device, and how it can be further incorporated into gaming such as pokies and slots in addition to the overall IoT market.
Apple is also likely to announce updates related to its iTV and may even further discuss smart home plans but it is hard to tell. No doubt the company will boast over its iPhone 6 sales and we don’t think the iPhone 6S will be announced either.