According to analysts Apple could use advancements in LED screen technology and touch screens to deliver a slimmer iPad 5.
In email correspondence with CNET, NPD DisplaySearch analyst Paul Semenza, indicates that advancements in the arrangements and use of more LEDs could be used by Apple to create an even thinner iPad 5 than the current generation iPad with Retina Display.
According to Semenza, “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.”
NPD DisplaySearch also feels that Apple could be likely to change parts of the way the iPad 5 senses a user’s touch saying, “The other significant change that we feel is likely is a shift to a film-based touch sensor.”
This matches up with supply chain rumors which indicate Apple tapped Taiwanese company TPK to make the film touch panels for the iPad 5. TPK currently produces the touch panels for the iPad mini. The iPad 5 reportedly adopts the iPad mini design, and thinner bezels.
The firm is not sure that the iPad 5 will ship with large changes in the underlying display technology. Speculation of IGZO displays, which were first rumored to be headed to Apple’s iPhone 6, have multiplied in recent months and now also point to the technology’s inclusion in the iPad 5. IGZO displays have lower power consumption and more accurate touch support according to Sharp’s presentation at CES 2013. Sharp gave Gotta Be Mobile got a demonstration of the screen technology which you’ll find below.
IGZO, which stands for Indium Gallium Zinc Oxide, is a type of material created by Sharp and partner Semiconductor Energy Labs that acts as a semiconductor for electrical current. Because it can be used in extremely thin-film transistors or touch layers it’s able to offer manufacturers a way to create displays for phones, televisions, and in Apple’s case, an iPad 5 with even higher screen resolutions and more power efficiency. Typically, displays are one of the biggest draws on a mobile device’s battery.
Apple last updated the screen technology in the iPad when it introduced the iPad with Retina Display last November. That iPad has a 2048 x 1536 resolution display and boasts 264 pixels per inch.
Recently, Sharp announced that it would be creating large numbers of IGZO displays at 10 inches with a 2560 x 1600 resolution, 32 inches with a resolution of 3840 x2160, and 7 inches with a resolution of 1280 x 800.
Recent rumors about the iPad 5 indicate that the device might launch in the third quarter of 2013 and bring with it a slimmer case design akin to the iPad Mini.