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'NPD DisplaySearch' Articles

Uncertainty Over Apple's Sapphire Plans for iPhone 6 Remains as Analyst Estimates Vary Widely

Debate among analysts over just how widespread Apple's use of sapphire displays will be in the iPhone 6 continues to rage, with The Korea Herald reporting on a new research note from NPD DisplaySearch Korea's Brian Huh putting Apple's sapphire display capacity at 45 million units for the iPhone 6 launch. With the iPhone 6 predicted to launch in an initial batch nearing 70 million units, Apple would not be able to use sapphire across the entire lineup.“Apple’s sapphire material supplier, GT Advanced Technologies, appears capable of producing the glass for around 45 million smartphones. Still, only the iPhone 6’s most premium models may adopt it due to its high cost and a possible supply (set aside) for the iWatch,” said Brian Huh, a senior analyst at NPD DisplaySearch Korea, at its touch conference in Seoul. He said the 64GB version of either the 5.5-inch or 4.7-inch model is likely to adopt the glass. The iPhone 6 will reportedly come in 32GB and 64GB models.Separately, Huh also believes Apple will eventually use sapphire for its laptop displays, although manufacturing complexities and costs at those sizes would be challenging for Apple. Huh is certainly not the first to suggest that sapphire may be limited to high-end iPhone 6 models, with previous reports from Taiwanese media and KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo making similar claims. A second research report from JPMorgan publicized by Taipei Times (via GforGames) claims Apple's sapphire display production may only be around 10 million units through the end of the year.“Sapphire covers will also be

Broadwell CPU Delay and iPad Competition May Reduce 2014 Notebook Shipments

Industry-wide notebook shipments will continue to decline in 2014, claims NPD DisplaySearch. Revised estimates predict shipments from all vendors, including Apple, will reach 134 million units, down from an earlier estimate of 152 million unit. One factor contributing to this decline is the expected Q3 2014 launch of Intel's upcoming Broadwell CPU. Intel confirmed in its latest earnings conference call that its Broadwell chipset will enter production in Q1 2014 and become available in the second half of 2014. Slowing PC demand and yield issues forced Intel to delay Broadwell by at least a quarter from its original timetable, with that delay likely contributing further weakness in the PC market. Intel's Haswell processor line, the company's current CPU family and predecessor to Broadwell, was released in June 2013 and landed in the MacBook Air during the same month. DisplaySearch also cites the rumored 12.9-inch iPad, wearables and the convergence of mobile and desktop operating systems as market forces that could shift consumers away from notebook PCs. At the same time, the expected launch of a 12.9” iPad from Apple could trigger growth in larger tablet PC screen sizes, leading to even more competition for potential notebook PC buyers. In addition, wearable devices and other new concepts are expected to compete for consumer spending during the holiday season and beyond. Finally, the trend toward user-interface fusion and operating-system integration will offer a more seamless working platform between mobile devices and PCs, which would further extend mobile

Larger iPhone 6, 'iPad Pro' and iWatch Could Tap New Display Sizes in Development

Research firm DisplaySearch has once again tapped its sources in the display supply chain to assess what panel sizes and resolutions are currently under development, using that information to speculate on the display technology that may land in Apple's iPhone 6, new iPad and rumored iWatch. According to the firm's latest report, the iPhone 6 and iPad may receive size and resolution boosts in line with circulating rumors, while the iWatch could sport a flexible AMOLED display. On the high end of the spectrum, DisplaySearch analyst David Hsieh predicts the iPhone 6 could ship with a 5.5-inch display that has a 1920 x 1080 resolution, yielding a density of 401 pixels per inch (ppi). The display would be a LTPS (low-temperature polysilicon) TFT LCD, which is the same technology used in a number of previous iPhone models. Another possibility is a smaller 4.7-inch LTPS screen with 1600 x 900 resolution and 386 ppi. Either configuration would bump the iPhone 6 up from the 4-inch, 1136 x 640 display found in the iPhone 5s, and a previous report has suggested that Apple could release both sizes. On the iPad side of the equation, Apple may increase the size of the tablet and introduce a 12.0-inch "iPad Pro" model. This echoes several previous reports in recent months claiming that an oversized iPad with a 12.9-inch Retina display is entering production and may launch as soon as early 2014. There have, however, been no part leaks supporting the existence of such a device so far. According to DisplaySearch, the 12.9-inch "iPad Pro" model could include a display with a

Apple's 'iWatch' Said to Arrive in Separate 1.7- and 1.3-Inch Display Sizes for Men and Women

Last month, NPD DisplaySearch analyst David Hsieh offered an overview of Apple's display plans for future devices, based on sources in the company's supply chain. Among the products included in Hsieh's analysis was Apple's long-rumored "iWatch" smart watch device, with Hsieh only briefly noting that Apple appeared to be looking to source both 1.3-inch and 1.63-inch flexible AMOLED displays with resolutions of 320 x 320 pixels. Samsung's Galaxy Gear smart watch According to the Korea Herald (via Unwired View), Hsieh offered a few additional details on Apple's plans at a conference today, noting that the company will be using the two sizes to offer watches targeting men with a larger 1.7-inch display and women with a smaller 1.3-inch option.Apple’s wearable iWatch is expected to come with a 1.7-inch OLED display for men’s watches and a 1.3-inch OLED screen for women, David Hsieh, DisplaySearch’s Vice President of the Greater China Market, said at a conference today in Taiwan, citing Apple sources. [...] It is yet to be confirmed whether the displays will be flexible but sources said it was a possibility, since Apple will want to upstage Samsung’s Galaxy Gear.Separate from Hsieh's comments, the report claims that Apple could introduce the iWatch as soon as late this year, but that appears to be extremely unlikely given that it is already mid-November and that recent rumors have pointed to a late 2014 timeframe for launch. Just days ago, fellow NPD DisplaySearch analyst Paul Gagnon noted that Apple appears to have put its major television product plans on hold for

Apple's TV Plans Reportedly On Hold Again as Wearables Take Priority

While Apple has been rumored for a number of years to have been working on a television set project, reports have become more scarce over the past year as interest in a potential smart watch has gained steam. According to a report from NPD DisplaySearch, the rumor trends are indeed a reflection of what is happening at Apple, with the company apparently putting the TV project "on hold again" as wearables such as the "iWatch" have taken priority.According to sources in the TV supply chain, it appears that Apple’s long-rumored TV plans, which were far from concrete anyway, have been put on hold again, possibly to be replaced by a rollout of wearable devices. Although many financial and industry analysts have been speculating about Apple’s entrance into the TV business via an actual TV (instead of the Apple TV “hobby” set-top-box) for years, during the last year the rumor-mill has shifted into high gear about a 2014 introduction. Indeed, our own information from TV supply chain sources pointed to the fact that Apple appeared to be lining up resources for a product introduction in the second half of 2014, likely with 2-3 large screen sizes and 4K resolution. However, the hangup has always been the content.The report is not specific about how DisplaySearch has arrived at its conclusion that Apple's TV project has been put on hold, but the firm closely watches the display supply chain and likely is not yet seeing any significant movement toward an Apple television. Apple has reportedly been working on advancing its Apple TV set-top box, but Apple's efforts to revolutionize

Supply Chain Sources Feed Speculation on Apple's Display Plans for Future Devices

Apple is set to revamp the displays for the majority of its product lines within the next year, according to supply chain research done by NPD DisplaySearch (via CNET). The new research corroborates an earlier report that Apple is set to revamp its displays across multiple product lines and offers some speculation on Apple's plans rooted in the supply chain hints.Based on supply chain research, we believe Apple is planning to revamp nearly all of the displays in its products over the next year. This would indicate that Apple, once again, intends to count on display technology for new product innovation. We can speculate about Apple’s new products as follows: DisplaySearch speculates that Apple may launch both a 4.7-inch and a 5.7-inch iPhone next year, roughly in line with a Wall Street Journal report from September claiming Apple has been experimenting with iPhone models carrying displays of 4.8 inches to 6 inches, perhaps for a 2014 release. DisplaySearch's report also covers the slimmer-bezeled iPad and Retina iPad mini, which will reportedly be unveiled on October 22. Unsurprisingly, the report indicates that both displays will carry the same 2048 x 1536 resolution as the current full-size iPad. DisplaySearch also suggests that a 12.9-inch iPad is set for debut next year, in line with the Wall Street Journal's report that Apple is looking at larger iPad models. The MacBook Air, which is unlikely to get an update at Apple's October 22 event, is likely to see a new 12-inch Retina Display model launch next year, according to DisplaySearch's findings. This new

Samsung Reportedly Becomes Primary iPad Display Supplier as Next-Generation iPad Mini Grows Closer

According to a new report from market research company NPD DisplaySearch as related by CNET, Samsung has supplied more 9.7-inch panels for the fourth-generation iPad in recent months than any other Apple supplier, including longtime partners LG and Sharp. Apple, in fact, has been boosting purchases of displays from Samsung since January, according to the market analyst. Apple got about 2.3 million units from Samsung in the first quarter. That figure jumped about 80 percent quarter-to-quarter to more than 4.1 million units in the second quarter, according to DisplaySearch. The report also claims that Samsung, LG, and Japan Display will also begin supplying 7.9-inch panels for the next-generation iPad mini, although it declines to state whether the displays will be of Retina resolution or not. A Wall Street Journal story last week stated that the next-generation iPad mini is indeed likely to feature a high-resolution display from Samsung, with screens also being supplied from LG and Sharp. The next-generation iPad mini is expected to launch sometime in the fall. Apple has been reported to be seeking to reduce its reliance on Samsung as a component supplier due to continuing tensions between the two companies as they have increasingly become top competitors in the mobile device market. But it has been reported for several months now that Apple is returning to Samsung as a display supplier due to its technological advantages and production

Apple's iPad 5 Set to Continue Driving Market Shift Toward In-Cell Display Technology

Digitimes reports that the adoption of new touch-sensor systems in both the iPhone 5 and iPad has caused a notable shift in the supply chain of the touch panel market, according to research carried out by the firm DisplaySearch.Displays with in-cell touch are expected to rise from 7.3% of mobile phone shipments in 2012 to 13.7% in 2013, while shipments of GG DITO (double-sided ITO glass) structure are expected to decline from 10.3% to 0.6%. For tablets, shipments of GF2 sensor structure are expected to rise from 4.7% in 2012 to 28.4% in 2013, while shipments of GG DITO structure decline from 37.2% to 8.1%.Calvin Hseih, research director at DisplaySearch, notes that Apple has been primarily responsible for this shift, despite the massive number of touchscreen devices already on the market. Apple's shift from a GG type touch-sensor system (glass on glass) to in-cell touch technology and GF2 (whereby the second layer of glass is replaced by an optical film) has rapidly influenced the entire supply chain Touchscreen architectures (Source: Displaybank/ElectroIQ) Apple switched from GG to in-cell touch technology with the iPhone 5 release back in September 2012 and the iPad mini and fourth-generation iPad also feature GF2 technology. Another report by Digitimes reiterates previous rumors that the upcoming fifth-generation iPad, which is slated to be released sometime in Q4 2013, will feature GF2 touch technology. That technology will allow the new iPad to be thinner and lighter than previous models, with the technology being supplied by TPK and GIS. The fifth-generation

Mass Production of Retina Displays for iPad Mini Expected to Start in June or July

Following a somewhat confusing report earlier this week in which NPD DisplaySearch analysts first indicated that a Retina iPad mini would not appear until the first quarter of 2014 before quickly issuing a correction stating that a third quarter refresh would bring the Retina display to the line, the firm has now told CNET that production on those Retina display panels should begin in June or July. The timing would not be a tremendous surprise given that the firm just said that the device should begin shipping in the July-September quarter, although other sources have indicated that it may not appear until somewhat later in the year. DisplaySearch's Richard Shim also claims that current iPad mini display supplier LG Display will maintain a prominent role in production of the new Retina displays, and that Samsung will remain out of the display supply picture."We should see the start of mass production of the panels in June or July," said Richard Shim, an analyst at NPD DisplaySearch. LG Display will be one of the major manufacturers of the display, he said, adding that Samsung is not a supplier for the Mini. "Samsung is currently not in the iPad Mini and they won't be in the next generation. LGD is becoming a much bigger supplier than before," he said.LG is reportedly the main supplier for display panels in the current iPad mini, with AU Optronics also responsible for a significant portion of the supply. Also unsurprising is Shim's claim that the Retina iPad mini will adopt the same 2048 x 1536 resolution seen on the full-size iPad's Retina display, albeit at

Display Analysts See Retina iPad Mini Updates Coming in 3Q 2013 and 1Q 2014

In a bit of a confusing sequence of events, CNET reports on claims from NPD DisplaySearch analysts who see Apple having two Retina iPad mini devices in the pipeline, including an initial launch in the third quarter of this year followed by a second update in the first quarter of next year."We see two refreshes coming. One in the second half of this year, then one in Q1 [first quarter] of 2014," analyst Richard Shim told CNET late Sunday night. "The Q1 [2014] device will have a Retina display plus an updated processor," Shim added.CNET's report had initially cited Shim as saying that the Retina display would not appear until the early 2014 model, but less than two hours later the report was revised to state that the 2013 model will also have a Retina display. The new quotes from Shim do not actually refute the original claim, but based on CNET's reporting it appears that additional information he provided does indicate that a Retina display will be included in the next iPad mini. KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo last month reported that technical challenges related to production of a Retina iPad mini will likely see the device debut somewhat later than many have expected. While he declined to offer a specific prediction for the iPad mini launch, he did outline three scenarios showing launches in the September-November timeframe. Rumors of Apple looking to accelerate its upgrade cycles have persisted for several years, and they did come to fruition late last year with the introduction of an updated iPad just seven and a half months after the previous model.

More Efficient LED Backlighting May Lead to Thinner, Lighter iPad 5

Improvements to the iPad's LED backlighting will allow Apple to create a thinner iPad 5, NPD DisplaySearch's Paul Semenza told CNET."It's likely that part of the thinner/lighter design will be reducing the size of the LED backlight, partly by making the display more efficient and partly by using more efficient LEDs," said Paul Semenza, an analyst at NPD DisplaySearch, in an e-mail to CNET.The Retina displays of the third and fourth generation iPads required a dual-LED backlight along with a bigger battery, which caused them to be thicker than the previous iPad 2. Semenza also pointed out that a shift to a film-based touch sensor might also serve to reduce bulk. The current iPad mini incorporates a DITO film touch panel sensor which contributes to its 7.2mm thickness. He was unsure whether Apple might consider a switch to different display technology, but some reports have suggested that Apple is investigating IGZO panels. Mockup of the 5th generation iPad next to the iPad mini DisplaySearch has extensive sources in the display supply chain, but a mixed track record when it comes to predictions. Before the launch of the fourth generation iPad DisplaySearch claimed that the tablet would launch with a thinner design, a prediction that ended up being incorrect after the iPad was released with the same form factor as the third generation iPad. The research firm did, however, accurately predict the in-cell display technology used in the iPhone 5. Rumors of a thinner iPad 5 originated last year and were followed up with photos of an alleged rear shell of the device in