IHS


'IHS' Articles

Future iPhones, Apple Watches May Use New Power-Saving Backplane Technology to Extend Battery Life

Apple may adopt a new power-saving backplane technology for iPhone and Apple Watch displays in the long term, which should contribute to longer battery life on those devices, according to research firm IHS Markit. For context, the backplane is responsible for turning individual pixels on and off, meaning that it plays a significant role in determining a display's resolution, refresh rate, and power consumption, as IHS explains. At present, OLED displays in smartphones use LTPS TFT, or low-temperature polysilicon thin-film transistors, as the standard backplane technology. But, in the coming years, IHS believes Apple could switch to LTPO TFT, or low-temperature polycrystalline oxide, for the backplane in future iPhones. In theory, IHS estimates that LTPO can save 5-15% in power consumption versus LTPS, resulting in extended battery life on future iPhones. The reasons for this are quite technical, but from a high level, IHS says that LTPO has an Oxide TFT structure that can reduce the power leakage of LTPS. The more technical explanation is that power consumption would be especially reduced under a "switching model," where "the pixel circuit would be patterned such that the switching TFT would be p-Si and the drive TFT would be IGZO." As the size and resolution of iPhone displays continues to increase, power consumption increases, so any battery life gains are beneficial. IHS believes that Apple may also be interested in developing LTPO technology to gain more control over components of OLED displays, as it says manufacturers like Samsung and LG

iPhone Named World's Most Popular Smartphone Last Year

iPhone was the world's most popular smartphone last year, in terms of global shipments, according to research firm IHS Markit. iPhone 6s took the top spot as the most-shipped smartphone in the world in 2016, trailed by the iPhone 7, iPhone 7 Plus, and iPhone 6s Plus, based on research from IHS Markit's Smartphone Shipment Database, which tracks quarterly shipment data for more than 350 smartphone models. Samsung's Galaxy S7 edge took the fifth spot, followed by the low-cost Galaxy J3 and several other Samsung smartphones, including the Galaxy S7. Notably absent was the Galaxy Note7, which was recalled last year due to safety concerns after some units were found to have defective batteries. Apple's lead over Samsung is impressive given that the Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 edge were launched in March 2016, around six months prior to the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus in September. The mid-range Galaxy J3, Galaxy J5, and Galaxy J7 also preceded the latest iPhone models when they launched in April 2016. The above chart makes it hard to determine exactly how many shipments each smartphone model had, but it looks like the iPhone 6s was around 60 million, while the Galaxy S7 edge and most other Samsung smartphones are around the 25 million mark. IHS declined our request for specific shipment figures. An earlier version of the chart had the iPhone 6s Plus labeled twice. IHS Markit has corrected this mistake and sent us the new chart shown above. Oppo's A53, a popular smartphone in markets such as China and India, was the only smartphone not manufactured by Apple or

5.8-Inch iPhone Expected to Have Flat Display Despite 'Curved' Rumors

Apple is widely expected to launch an iPhone with a 5.8-inch edge-to-edge OLED display later this year, made possible by slimmer bezels and no Home button. And while some reports have claimed the screen will be curved like the Galaxy S7 edge, a growing number of sources expect a flat display. "We anticipate Apple will adopt a flat implementation of OLED design on their special iPhone model, which is analogous to the current 2.5D glass design," IHS Markit analyst Wayne Lam told MacRumors today. "Much like the recently announced LG G6, we anticipate a touchscreen with a new longer aspect ratio design to take advantage of higher coverage area of the iPhone in its entirety. This new design language is expected to become the trend for 2017, as we all anticipate Samsung's reveal later this month," he added. Lam is referring to the LG G6's 5.7-inch LCD display with a 2:1 aspect ratio, meaning the screen's length is double the size of its width. iPhones have a 16:9 aspect ratio. Leaked pictures of Samsung's Galaxy S8 reveal a similarly longer OLED display with slim bezels and no physical home button. Last month, he noted that the LG G6 achieves a large screen while remaining holdable and pocketable:LG’s G6 is a study in creating large immersive screen designs that do not break the ergonomic requirements of the average human hand. By addressing dueling consumer demands for larger screens but yet more pocketable device, LG took on the challenge of re-imagining what a modern smartphone should look like and function ergonomically.While he ruled out having any insider

10.5-Inch iPad Pro Said to Have 2,224×1,668 Display With Same Pixel Density as 9.7-Inch Model

Apple's rumored 10.5-inch iPad Pro will have a higher resolution of 2,224×1,668 pixels, while maintaining the same pixel density as the current 9.7-inch iPad Pro, according to IHS Markit director of tablets and PCs Rhoda Alexander. Specifically, she told Forbes that a 10.5-inch iPad Pro at 2,224×1,668 would have 264 PPI, equal to the current 9.7-inch iPad Pro at 2,048×1,536. The article actually quoted Alexander as saying the 10.5-inch iPad Pro will have a 2,024×1,668 resolution, but she confirmed to MacRumors that this was a typo and that she indeed expects a resolution of 2,224×1,668. If the 10.5-inch iPad Pro does in fact end up having the same pixel density as the current 9.7-inch iPad Pro, that would go against another mathematically possible scenario in which the tablet could have the same 2,732×2,048 resolution as the current 12.9-inch iPad Pro, with the same pixel density as the iPad mini 4. In line with existing rumors, Alexander said the 10.5-inch iPad Pro will have slimmer bezels that allow it to have the same overall footprint as the 9.7-inch iPad Pro. She reportedly expects the 10.5-inch iPad Pro to "arrive in the March-April timeframe," which lines up with Apple's rumored March event. Japanese blog Mac Otakara said Apple will release four new iPad Pro models at a March event. The report said the 10.5-inch model may not ship until May, while new 7.9-inch, 9.7-inch, and 12.9-inch models are said to ship in March. DigiTimes likewise said the 10.5-inch iPad Pro may not come until May-June. Alexander also said Apple's rumored low-cost 9.7-inch

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. 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,

iPhone 7 Component Costs Estimated to Start at $220

iPhone 7 component costs are estimated to start at $219.80, which is $36.89 higher than iPhone 6s, according to a preliminary teardown [Excel] of a 32GB model by IHS Markit. The display remains the most expensive component, costing an estimated $43, followed by an Intel modem and other baseband chips worth an estimated total of $33.90. Apple's quad-core A10 Fusion chip is the third most expensive item on the bill of materials, costing an estimated $26.90. Meanwhile, the larger 1,920 mAh battery is said to cost just $2.50. The larger rear-facing iSight camera and improved 7-megapixel front-facing FaceTime camera cost a combined $19.90, according to IHS Markit. Electromechanical components, including the Taptic Engine, antennas, connectors, microphones, and stereo speakers, cost an estimated $16.70 combined. iPhone 7's 2GB of RAM supplied by Samsung, and 32GB of flash storage supplied by SK Hynix, are estimated to cost a combined $16.40. An audio codec and audio amplifier supplied by Cirrus Logic, an NFC controller supplied by NXP, a Bosch Sensortec-made barometer, along with an accelerometer, gyroscope, Touch ID, proximity sensor, and other sensors, cost an estimated $14 altogether. The accessories included in the iPhone 7 box, including a Lightning-to-USB cable, Lightning-to-3.5mm audio adapter, EarPods with a Lightning connector, and 5W USB power adapter cost an estimated $11.80 combined. IHS raises Apple's total cost to manufacture the iPhone 7 to $224.80 after adding $5 in "basic manufacturing costs" related to assembly, insertion, and testing. A

Apple's 2017 iPhone May Feature Dual-Curve OLED Display

Though the 2017 iPhone is more than a year away from launching, we're already hearing non-stop rumors about the device due to the major design changes Apple is expected to introduce. The latest rumor, coming from IHS analyst Kevin Wang, suggests the 2017 iPhone will include a dual-curve OLED display that covers the left and right edges of the device. On Chinese social networking site Weibo (via PhoneArena), Wang said Apple will release a device with sloping edges similar to the Vivo XPlay 5 or the Galaxy S7 Edge. Kevin Wong's exact words are that after Vivo outed the Xplay 5 with its 5.4" OLED screen that slopes to the sides like on the S7 edge, there will be more manufacturers using this technique, including Apple with next year's iPhone.Apple is already rumored to be using flexible OLED displays for the 2017 iPhone, which will be necessary for any kind of dramatically curved display. It is not clear from Wang's statement how far the display will extend to the edges of the device and whether it will be a subtle curve for design purposes or a functional wraparound display as Samsung uses in its Galaxy Edge devices. The Galaxy Edge's wraparound display features side buttons and alerts accessible when the phone is face down. Wang does not offer details on where he is sourcing his information from, but it is presumably coming from the Asian supply chain and Apple's myriad manufacturing partners. Supply chain information can be difficult to interpret at times and Wang does not have a well-known track record, but he has shared some semi-accurate information on the

New 4-Inch iPhone Again Predicted to Launch in 2016

IHS Technology research director Kevin Wang, who previously said a new 4-inch iPhone would launch by the end of 2015, has now changed his prediction to mid 2016 on Chinese microblogging service Sina Weibo (via GforGames), corroborating information shared by reliable KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo. Wang did not provide any new details about Apple's oft-rumored 4-inch iPhone, beyond confirming the smaller screen size, but Kuo recently said the device will "resemble an upgraded iPhone 5s," including a metal design with an A9 processor, and launch in the first quarter of 2016.As there is still demand for a 4-inch iPhone, we believe Apple will upgrade this product line. Because the iPhone 5s is more popular than the iPhone 5c, we think Apple is likely to launch an upgraded iPhone 5s. We predict Apple will mass-produce this new 4-inch iPhone in 1H16 with metal casings. In order to make the current iOS 9 or next-generation iOS 10 run smoothly, Apple may adopt an A9 chip for this new phone.Kuo believes the so-called "iPhone 6c" will not feature 3D Touch to differentiate it from Apple's flagship iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus. Foxconn is expected to be the primary manufacturer of the 4-inch smartphone, with 20-30 million shipments projected through the end of 2016. Given his recent track record, Wang's new prediction should be treated with a proverbial grain of salt, but it does corroborate multiple rumors suggesting Apple will release a new 4-inch smartphone in 2016. The so-called "iPhone 6c" was originally rumored to launch in 2015, but those plans were reportedly

Next-Generation iPhone Again Rumored to Have 12-Megapixel Camera

Kevin King, IHS Technology Research Director for China, claimed on Chinese microblogging service Weibo that Apple's next-generation iPhone will feature a 12-megapixel rear-facing camera with smaller pixels (via G4Games), corroborating the same prediction made by well-informed KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo earlier this week. Apple has used an 8-megapixel rear-facing camera sensor since the iPhone 4s was released in late 2011, so the megapixel bump will be the first in nearly four years if the pair of analysts are correct. Prior to that, the iPhone 4 had a 5-megapixel camera and the iPhone 3GS had a 3-megapixel shooter. Given that megapixels don't always matter, however, software improvements are often more important for image quality. Last November, well-known Apple pundit John Gruber of Daring Fireball said the next iPhone could have "the biggest camera jump ever" with a dual-lens system that delivers DSLR-quality imagery, but a later report dismissed the rumor since Apple would need to redesign the current chassis of the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus, which is unlikely for this year's refresh based on the history of "S" models. Apple's next-generation iPhones are rumored to retain 4.7-inch and 5.5-inch screen sizes, powered by an A9 processor with 2GB of LPDDR4 RAM and featuring Force Touch, improved Touch ID recognition, gesture control support, an additional microphone near the speakers for improved voice quality, a new rose gold color option, internal mechanical design changes and