Rumor: Next-gen iPad mini display tech being developed by AU Optronics

This is a discussion on Rumor: Next-gen iPad mini display tech being developed by AU Optronics within the iPad Mini forums, part of the iPod, iPhone, iPad Forum category; In case you missed the 347 independently confirmed reports from newspapers and blogs around the world, Apple plans to unveil a brand new second-generation iPad ...

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  1. #41
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    Everything you can expect from Apple’s next-generation iPad mini



    In case you missed the 347 independently confirmed reports from newspapers and blogs around the world, Apple plans to unveil a brand new second-generation iPad mini on Tuesday during its press conference in San Francisco, California. Try to at least act a little surprised. We have already gone over everything to expect from Apple’s fifth-generation full-size iPad, and now it’s the new iPad mini’s turn for a roundup. Just like the iPad — and just like every other device Apple launches — we have seen persistent leaks and rumors for months leading up to the tablet’s debut. Is Apple prepping a significant update worth getting excited about, or are we looking at another update like the iPhone 5s that is a huge overhaul and yet ends up being somewhat lackluster?

    In terms of design, don’t expect to see any big differences between the “iPad mini 2″ and the current model, which is fine since it’s already one of the sleekest tablets on the market. There will likely be one major aesthetic change, however: New colors.

    According to plenty of leaked photos that seemingly reveal the housing from Apple’s second-generation iPad mini, the current black and slate color option will soon be a thing of the past. The white and silver color combination will remain, but the black and space gray option from Apple’s new iPhone 5s will be carried over to the iPad mini in addition to the full-size iPad. This color scheme is much, much better than the black and slate color combo on Apple’s current iPad mini.

    Recent leaks also suggest that the new iPad mini will be available in white and gold as well.

    Far more important than the colors of Apple’s new 8-inch iPad is that fact that according to multiple independent reports from various reliable sources, Apple’s iPad mini 2 will be upgraded to a brand new Retina display that packs 2,048 x 1,536-pixel resolution into the same size panel.

    The lack of Retina resolution was easily the biggest complaint with Apple’s first-generation iPad mini, but we all expected the screen to be upgraded in the second model. Reports were mixed and for a while it appeared as though manufacturing difficulties would lead to a delayed launch and a minor iPad mini update to tide us over, but now it appears as though Retina is a go on the iPad mini 2 — though low production yields will reportedly make the new iPad mini hard to come by at launch.

    Perhaps the biggest question surrounding Apple’s fifth-generation iPad debut is whether or not it will include Apple’s new Touch ID fingerprint scanner from the iPhone 5s, and the same can likely be said of the new iPad mini. Various images showing the iPad mini 2 with an embedded Touch ID scanner in the home button have leaked, but some industry watchers and bloggers are still not sure we’ll see the new fingerprint scanner hit Apple’s iPad lineup until next year.

    We’ll also see a spec bump in this year’s iPad mini model, though the particulars are still something of a mystery. The current model is powered by Apple’s old A5 processor and the new one could get the A6X SoC from the current fourth-generation iPad or a new A7-based chipset.

    Where pricing and sizes are concerned, we’re not expecting the new Retina models to be hit with a price increase. As such, we’ll likely see Apple’s second iPad mini tablet launch with 16GB, 32GB and 64GB storage options available for $329, $429 and $529, respectively. And just like the current iPad mini models, 3G/4G LTE connectivity will be a $130 option on each version.

    Finally, we may see the entry-level price of Apple’s iPad tablet lineup reach an all-time low this year if Apple keeps the current-generation 16GB iPad mini around and sells it at a discount, as it has done in the past with iPhones and iPads. $229 is probably a stretch, but $249 or $279 might not be unreasonable.

    Apple’s press conference kicks off at 1:00 p.m. EDT, 10:00 a.m. PDT on Tuesday, and BGR will be covering all the news as it is announced.





    10-21-13

    bgr.com

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  3. #42
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    Apple reportedly taps Samsung for Retina iPad mini panels due to supply shortage



    With the launch of Apple's iPad mini with Retina display on the horizon, rumors of severe supply constraints are aswirl, the latest claiming the situation is so dire that Samsung has been tapped to supply LCDs for the hotly anticipated device.

    According to a report from Japan's Nikkei (via CNET), Apple is now looking to rival Samsung for high-resolution 7.9-inch Retina panels, as current manufacturers Sharp and LG Display are having trouble reaching production volumes.

    The information comes in part from Japan's largest wireless provider NTT DoCoMo, which is reportedly concerned about expectedly low supply. After years of fighting the iPhone with domestic handsets, DoCoMo was just last month added to Apple's stable of partner carriers, christening the agreement with sales of the iPhone 5s and 5c.

    It was reported Wednesday that Sharp was to blame for the rumored iPad mini shortage. The Japanese company is Apple's secondary supplier for the mini's Retina displays, but its share of panel orders is still substantial at a reported 40 percent.

    In Friday's report, Nikkei cites a DisplaySearch Japan analyst as saying primary supplier LG Display is also seeing yield issues, and is "not close to full production." Consequently, Apple has been forced to order an unknown number of displays from Samsung, as the Korean tech giant is one of the few companies capable of manufacturing Retina quality panels. Those panels are not likely to arrive until next year, however, meaning supplies could still be tight over the lucrative holiday season.

    Analysts have been speculating that Apple would see severe constraints of the smaller iPad for months, and rumors of low LCD panel yields have been circulating since April. In fact, a report from September guessed Apple would delay launching the Retina iPad mini until next year after seeing incredibly low manufacturing volumes.

    When asked about the supposed iPad mini constraints during Apple's quarterly conference call on Monday, chief executive Tim Cook said it was "unclear" whether there would be enough supply for the quarter. The company knows how many units are arriving, Cook said, but does not know if that number is enough to satisfy demand.

    Apple has yet to announce an official launch date for the mini, instead saying the device will hit store shelves "in November."





    11-1-13

    appleinsider.com

  4. #43
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    LCD Burn-In Issues Causing Retina iPad Mini Delay



    What’s causing the Retina iPad mini to launch so late in the year, and why is demand expected to be so limited at launch? Display yield issues tend to be viewed as the culprit, but what exactly is happening? According to a new rumor, LCD burn-in is to blame.

    According to Korea’s ETNews, Sharp is having problems with burned-in images on its new IGZO displays destined for the Retina iPad mini.

    The issue appears to be one with Sharp’s thin-film transistor layer. This is the heart of IGZO, which allows more light from the LED backlights to actually pass through the display’s pixels. It is this technology that allowed Apple to half the battery and number of LED lamps in the iPad Air while maintaining the same battery life.

    According to ETNews’ source, the burn-in is not actually visible to the naked eye, but the panels still can’t be used because of Apple’s incredibly strict quality-control process. It might seem frustrating that Apple’s not loosening these standards just a tad to get the iPad mini in more hands before Christmas, but let’s face it, this is what makes Apple Apple.





    11-8-13

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  5. #44
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    Rumor: Delayed Retina iPad mini launch blamed on LCD burn-in issues



    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.

    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. This unforeseen setback is purportedly slowing down the production process substantially, leading Apple to look elsewhere for additional supply.

    Supposedly at fault are malfunctions relating to Sharp's thin-film transistor, or TFT, implementation, which is causing burn-in on an unknown percentage of produced displays. The Japanese firm is said to be employing low-power IGZO display technology, so named because it uses semiconductor material indium gallium zinc oxide for the LCD's TFT backplane.

    The source went on to say that although Sharp's LCD burn-in is not visible to the naked eye, the panels cannot be used due to Apple's strict Retina display standards.

    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.

    Thursday's rumor echoes a report from last week, which also claimed Apple was eyeing a Samsung deal due to Sharp's panel yield issues. That account, however, added that LG is also experiencing problems with its version of the high-resolution screen, quoting a DisplaySearch analyst as saying the display maker was "not close to full production."

    Apple announced the iPad mini with Retina display in October alongside the recently-released iPad Air. The full-size tablet started shipping last week, but Apple has yet to disclose a sell-by date for the mini, but promises the tablet will hit store shelves in November.





    11-8-13

    appleinsider.com

  6. #45
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    Retina iPad mini backorders at major US carriers hints at ongoing supply shortage



    The nation's wireless carriers have yet to see steady shipments of Apple's cellular-enabled iPad mini with Retina display, with three of the "big four" telecoms all backordered for weeks as the holiday shopping season draws closer.

    According to a report from CNET, Verizon, AT&T and T-Mobile are all seeing estimated ship dates slip to at least December, though Apple's own supply for Wi-Fi + Cellular iPad minis continues to improve.

    The shortage suggests supplies are still constrained for the cellular 4G version of Apple's high-resolution 7.9-inch tablet, as Verizon recently pushed back shipping estimates to Dec. 2. Previously, the nation's largest carrier was quoting a target date of Nov. 25, but a spokesperson is now unable to say when the device will hit store shelves.

    As for AT&T, the company's website says all models of the Retina iPad mini will ship in 21 to 28 business days. T-Mobile, too, is back-ordered for an estimated 6 to 8 weeks.

    Although cell carriers may not be getting adequate supply of the hot-selling mini, Apple has been bolstering its stock for customers, who now have to wait 5 to 10 days for the unit to ship. This is a major improvement from launch day, when even the first orders showed wait times of a few days. At the time, Wi-Fi + Cellular models showed 5- to 10-day ship-by times, which later fell to weeks.

    In a note to investors, KGI analyst Ming-Chi Kuo said Apple's manufacturers will reach mass production levels sufficient early next year, with shipments expected to grow 102 percent over the next quarter.

    Those looking to get their hands on a Retina iPad mini as soon as possible can check Seaturtle.org's unofficial iPad mini availability notifier, which offers a snapshot of brick-and-mortar Apple Stores that have the unit in stock for pick-up.





    11-21-13

    appleinsider.com

  7. #46
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    Apple Stores Are Finally Allowing Walk-In Purchases Of Retina iPad Mini



    Apple is still facing supply constraints on the 3G/4G units of the iPad mini with Retina display, but it looks like customers can finally walk into an Apple Store and purchase a Retina iPad mini without ordering online first.

    The iPad mini with Retina display was soft launched by Apple on November 12th but units were only made available online or via Personal Pickup. Supply has been tight ever since, but Apple’s move to make the new minis available in stores could signal that Apple’s more confident that it can handle the demand, however, Apple.com is now reporting shipping dates of 5-10 days, even on Wifi-only units.

    News of the walk-in sales was first reported by Brian White, an analyst from Cantor Fitzgerald. Based on White’s research note a number of Apple Stores in New York City have received shipments designated for walk-in customer sales specifically. MacRumors also rang up a few stores and found that most were offering walk-in sales, but due to supply constraints, it’s still encouraged to check online for Personal Pickup options rather than heading to the store blindly.

    You can check Personal Pickup options at your local Apple Store via the
    Apple Tracker






    11-22-13

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  8. #47
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    Sketchy rumor suggests iPad mini 3 will be 30% thinner


    A pair of new rumors suggest that the next iPad mini will be 30 percent thinner, and that Apple is hard at work on a 12.9-inch iPad for 2015.


    A pretty sketchy rumor coming out of China claims that the new model iPad mini 3 might borrow the “Air” moniker of its bigger brother, and be a whopping 30 percent thinner than its predecessor.

    The report also claims that this new iPad mini Air will rely on the as-yet-unnannounced A8 processor currently manufactured by TSMC.

    Given that the current iPad mini is just 0.29 inches thick — and astonishingly light — it seems impossible that Apple would manage to shave off close to a third of its thickness. (By comparison, the much-commented-on thicker iPad mini 2, which added Retina display, was only four percent thicker than the first generation iPad mini.)

    That’s not the only iPad-related rumor for today. David Hsieh, VP of the Greater China Market at DisplaySearch, claims that Apple is planning to counter slowing tablet sales by creating a new 12.9-inch iPad model, which will be released in 2015.

    There have been reports of a so-called iPad Pro for a while, although Taiwan’s United Daily News has cited supply chain sources suggesting that such an iPad will instead be released at the end of Q3 or beginning of Q4 this year.

    While it’s quite possible that Apple will at some point create an iPad Pro — particularly as more and more high-end work is carried out on tablets — the idea that it would create a 12.9-inch iPad goes directly against other reports suggesting a 12-inch MacBook is on the way. The idea of creating such a MacBook would reportedly be to establish a clear size difference with the existing iPad Air to avoid the two product lines cannibalizing one another.

    Creating an iPad With a 12.9-inch form factor would seem to totally contradict these rumors.

    In other words, while a thinner iPad mini and larger-screen iPad may be desirable to a number of readers, both of these rumors should be taken with a sizeable pinch of salt.





    7-22-14

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