iPad 5: lighter and thinner thanks to tweaked display assembly

By , Apr 12, 2013

CiccareseDesign iPad 5 size comparison (image 002)

Several supply chain checks are now pointing to Apple’s fifth-generation iPad being lighter and thinner over its predecessor, the iPad 4. According to one display expert, Apple will achieve the thinner appearance in a lighter device thanks to advancements in the display department. For starters, in reducing the size of LED backlighting and improving its efficiency, Apple engineers will be able to reduce the overall weight of the device. The company may also use a new kind of touch sensor, he speculated Friday…

CNET quotes NPD DisplaySearch analyst Paul 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.

The other significant change that we feel is likely is a shift to a film-based touch sensor.

Recall, if you will, that the 7.9-inch iPad mini, which is 7.2mm thick, incorporates a DITO film touch panel sensor. In addition to a thinner and lighter display assembly, the next full-size iPad is also thought to adopt the iPad mini’s narrow side bezels.

DisplaySearch knows a thing or two about mobile screens and they correctly called for the iPhone 5′s in-cell display assembly ahead of the handset’s release. On the other hand, DisplaySearch incorrectly believed the iPad 4 would be thinner than the third-generation model.

It wasn’t immediately clear if concrete leads or pure speculation led Semenza to claim knowledge of Apple’s plans. He also couldn’t tell whether or not there will be “a big change” to the iPad’s 9.7-inch screen, such as using IGZO (indium gallium zinc oxide) panels by Sharp.

iPad 5 front panel (NowhereElse 002)
Purported front panel iPad 5 part, recently posted by NowhereElse.

The rumor-mills long speculated Apple could adopt IGZO for next-gen iOS devices, but ongoing issues with manufacturing yields and Sharp’s financial woes are believed to have led Apple to stick with IPS LCD technology used on current iPads.

Currently, Sharp is only able to produce IGZO panels for smaller devices sold in the Japanese market.

Apple, however, recently hired a former LG Display OLED expert, an indication it’s actively researching emerging technologies and constantly evaluating its options concerning mobile screens.

iPad 5 mockup top of post: CiccareseDesign, commissioned by MacRumors.

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  • http://www.facebook.com/Tommyg80 Tommy Gumbs

    Loving the podcast. But, as for this article, its to long for a report on a rumor. Too much useless info( useles to me, but i am sure someone may realy want to know that info).

    As for the iPad, I have been using the second gen since its release. I have been waiting for the next iPad release for a while now. I am ready for a lighter, faster, and resigned iPad. To bad Apple has stopped moving forward. Not one product release this year. Off topic, but Tim cool was the wrong man to lead Apple.

    • RarestName

      Dude it’s only April

      • http://www.facebook.com/Tommyg80 Tommy Gumbs

        Meaning what? When were the first 3 ipads realeased?

      • RarestName

        When was the fourth iPad released? It’s been barely six months from that.

      • http://www.facebook.com/Tommyg80 Tommy Gumbs

        And the 4gen was barley released 6 months after the 3rd gen. So we have 3 releases for the iPad around the same time frame (March of 10, 11, and 12) and then one that was more of a soft refresh( end of 12). Again, what is your point? Also, for the last several years, the Macbook line has traditionally been updated around this time.

        Also, the last several years we have had beta’s for OSx and iOS by now. Everyone will agree with that. We have nothing so far. If at WWDC Apples releases any beta’s, it will still be another 4 months before a GM will be ready.

      • RarestName

        No one knows what Apple is really doing. One can only speculate that they’re trying to push the iPad releases to match with the release of their other products.

      • http://www.facebook.com/Tommyg80 Tommy Gumbs

        I have to agree with you there buddy. Nobody knows what they are doing. LOL. Lately it seems like Apple does not even know.

        What I do know is Tim Cook in the last 8 months has apologized more the Mr Jobs did in his entire life.

      • felixtaf

        Apologizing for something wrong is BAD??? Cant get u…

      • http://www.facebook.com/Tommyg80 Tommy Gumbs

        Did Steve Jobs apologize for “Antennagate?” No. It’s not about apologizing, it’s about perception. He has made Apple look unstable and weak by consistently apologizing and changing upper management. Steve jobs would be very disappointed.

      • felixtaf

        Humility is not a sign of weakness… And Tim Cook is not Steve Jobs! Apologizing never made Apple unstable (Example: Recent crisis solved in China coz of Tim Cook’s Apology). I dont think u read news…

      • http://www.facebook.com/tafk1 Taf Khan

        Apple don’t flood the market with devices every other month like Samdung, surely this is a good thing. If I buy a premium flagship model… I want to see it hold that position for 12 months, not 2 months.

    • http://twitter.com/lgasparjnr laszlo gaspar

      I agree with you Tim is not the right man to lead apple. Apple needs a CEO who is a visionary, someone who thinks outside the box.

  • http://www.facebook.com/joe.jonsen Joe Jonsen

    okay and what else will it do ??? the ipad 4 is powerful as hell already and fast as hell too what new feature wlll ipad 5 have? that is enough tok make me want to upgrade to it

  • http://twitter.com/adampaulik Adam Paulik

    Is it the same table of “iphone 5 rumour”??? … and it was true :-P