Apple is far from confirming plans to release a 12.9-inch iPad model – often referred to as the iPad Pro or iPad Air Plus in reports – but LG is apparently already increasing oxide display production to meet anticipated demand.
“Investment to produce 30,000 sheets next year’s second quarter have started. Apple is creating iPads with 12.9-inch display, which shows they are increasing the panel size,” an unidentified “well-informed” LG Display related official told South Korean news site ETNews.
The publication says that Apple will use oxide panels in future iMacs as well, which is another reason for LG to expand oxide panel (IGZO) production. Adapting factories to make oxide panels inside a-Si TFT LCD is apparently easy, so the cost won’t be high for LG, ETNews notes.
LG is apparently interested in better competing with Samsung and Sharp, both Apple suppliers for oxide TFT displays that could be used in future tablets and computers. As a result, the company is expanding its production capabilities to match or potentially surpass Sharp’s display output.
LG Display is currently mass-producing 9,000 sheets per month, so the expansion is rather ample. By next year, the company could make some 50,000 sheets per month. Comparatively, Sharp currently produces 30,000 sheets each month, and Samsung Display wants to be able to make 60,000 sheets per month by the end of the year.
Other details about upcoming Apple products have not been mentioned, but this isn’t the first time Apple will use oxide displays in more of its mobile devices – the iPad Air already has an IGZO display.