Apple Said to Shift to Lower Power IGZO Displays for MacBook Pro Later This Year

Apple will shift to indium gallium zinc oxide (IGZO) material for MacBook Pro displays as soon as later this year, according to IHS. The research firm told DigiTimes that Apple may continue to procure MacBook Pro displays based on current amorphous silicon (a-Si) material until the end of the first quarter.

2016_macbook_pro_lineup
The report claims Samsung and Sharp will begin supplying IGZO panels to Apple as soon as mid-2017. Sharp began mass production of IGZO displays in 2012, but evidence points towards Apple only using the material in iPads so far. A rumor claiming the first IGZO MacBooks would launch by 2014 proved to be inaccurate.

IGZO is a semiconducting material that has forty times more electron mobility than the standard a-Si used as the active layer of an LCD screen, allowing for less power consumption, improved touch sensitivity, and increased pixel density, which could pave the way for higher resolution displays.

DisplayMate president Raymond Soneira told us IGZO can also result in "significantly higher brightness," but the material costs "considerably more" to manufacture. Production and yield issues have slowed the adoption of IGZO, but the material is now showing up in more products such as LG's new OLED TVs.

"Sometimes IGZO is simply referred to as Metal Oxide," he added. "The higher the PPI and the wider the Color Gamut (like DCI-P3 for the new MacBook Pro) the greater the benefits of IGZO over a-Si, particularly for LCDs."

The glass edge and backplane circuitry of IGZO displays can also be made smaller, possibly leading to a thinner MacBook Pro. However, such a design change is less likely this year given Apple just redesigned the notebook in 2016 for the first time in four years. Apple's interest likely lies in the power savings.

The original iPad Air's overall size and battery were reduced by around 25% compared to the previous model, and analysis suggested the tablet's new IGZO display made that possible. However, a smaller MacBook Pro battery would likely be perceived negatively following battery life complaints on 2016 models.

Given the timeline, Apple's switch to IGZO displays may be planned for the next-generation MacBook Pro. KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo said new MacBook Pro models will launch in the second half of 2017, possibly with slightly faster Kaby Lake processors unveiled this week.

IHS estimates Apple will order 9.7 million MacBook Pro display panels in 2017, an increase from 8.8 million units in 2016.

Related Roundup: MacBook Pro
Tags: IGZO, IHS

Top Rated Comments

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49 months ago
That's great......Apple can make the Mac thinner.......:eek:
Score: 35 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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49 months ago
Leave only one USB-c port, make it 40% thinner, introduce external keyboard (innovation!), cut out the internal one, slap an additional 500$ price tag to the mix, call it pro, say it's courage, and call it a day. Weeeee...
Score: 31 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
49 months ago

The glass edge and backplane circuitry of IGZO displays can also be made smaller, possibly leading to a thinner MacBook Pro.

Thank goodness! I nearly strained myself while dangling the 2016 MBP from my pinky for eight hours. I'd prefer to be able to go for nine full hours.
Score: 29 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
49 months ago

dongle hub.

Forgetting the absurdity of the incorrect stupid cliched repetitive dongle posts for a minute (you don't need them, just get the improved cables), when did we all start using the world dongle incorrectly? A dongle was alway an end device, a software protection key, a USB memory stick, a wifi dongle, a 4g dongle, a 3g dongle. A dongle has never been an adapter let alone a hub...
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slightly faster Kaby Lake processors unveiled this week

Very slightly. The reviews are not very kind with the i7 Kaby Lake... it's a "micro-tick" upgrade at best.

And it doesn't even provide support for DDR4L, now that's a fail.
Score: 28 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
49 months ago

That's great......Apple can make the Mac thinner.......:eek:

Sighh.... that is sadly true. If they care so much about battery life, make a little thicker for more battery capacity or more ports. But they will relegate the MacBook Pro to the thinnest and sexiest dongle hub.
Score: 15 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
49 months ago
A thinner MacBook Pro....

One of many reasons why Cook just got $1.5 mil pay cut. He just doesn't get it. The pro community doesn't want a device that is paper thin. They don't want a gimmicky touch bar. They don't want to wait around for 4 years for some supposedly "Pro" desktop that doesn't even remotely come close to being a pro machine.

They want power, they want all the ports they need, they want expandability & they want the pro software to go with them, nothing of which Apple's current Mac lineup provides and are some of the factors why Apple's pro customers are giving Apple the finger and saying "Adios".
Score: 13 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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