Apple Inc is expected to upgrade the display technology of all its products next year to regain its leadership in display adoption, according to an analyst at market advisory firm NPD DisplaySearch.
Apple was a pioneer of display technology, and it has been a critical part of the supply chain for many years, having invested in it and guiding the technical direction of its displays, NPD DisplaySearch Greater China region vice president David Hsieh (謝勤益) said.
That resulted in many “firsts” for Apple, Hsieh said. It was the first to use a display with more than 300 pixels per inch in a smartphone, the first to adopt the high-resolution quantum extended graphics array display in a tablet PC and the first to integrate a touch sensor into a display. Rapid developments in LCD and organic display technology and manufacturing, however, have challenged Apple’s leadership in display adoption, Hsieh said.
Mobile device brands are adopting the latest displays with large sizes, high resolution, wide color gamuts and low power consumption supplied by many panel makers not “bounded” by Apple, he said.
“Based on supply chain research, we believe Apple is planning to revamp nearly all of the displays in its products over the next year,” Hsieh wrote in his post that appeared on Monday in the official blog of NPD DisplaySearch.
He said the US company is likely to adopt a 4.7-inch 720p display and a 5.7-inch 1080p display in its new models of the iPhone 6, displays that are bigger and of a higher resolution than the ones used in its existing iPhone 5 line.
Apple will also use a 7.9-inch so-called “retina” sharp display in its second-generation iPad mini and a 1.63-inch flexible active-matrix organic LED (AMOLED) display in its rumored “iWatch” wearable device, Hsieh predicted.
“This would indicate that Apple, once again, intends to count on display technology for new product innovation,” he said.
Apple’s competitors, led by Samsung Electronics Co with its Galaxy series, have been rapidly turning to higher-specification displays, evidenced by Samsung’s adoption of full-high definition AMOLED displays in the Galaxy S4 phone and the Galaxy Note 3 phablet, Hsieh said.
Meanwhile, other smartphone brands such as HTC Corp (宏達電), Huawei Technologies Co (華為), Nokia Oyj and Sony Corp are all gearing up to use higher resolution, larger displays, as are tablet PC makers, led by Google Inc and Amazon.com Inc, the analyst said.
“With the rapid evolution of technology and expansion in manufacturing capacity, advanced displays are more accessible, and it is necessary for Apple to bring its supply chain to the next level and take advantage of its integration capabilities,” Hsieh said.