Rumor: Apple to Use IGZO Displays in Upcoming iPad

There’s been no shortage of iPad 3 chatter over the last few weeks. We’ve heard Apple’s upcoming tablet could feature anything from a 7-inch display to 20-hour battery life, and seemingly everything in between.

The latest report, however, is particularly interesting. It claims that the next-generation iPad will sport an advanced, high-resolution IGZO display (indium gallium zinc oxide).

The rumor comes from the extremely hit-or-miss Digitimes publication. The site has been the source of several recent iPad 3 rumors, some of which, have already been debunked. But ignore that for a moment.

IGZO panels are kind of a big deal. They can offer resolutions of up to 330 dots-per-inch for larger displays without any of the caveats. They don’t require dual-bar LED backlighting, which would make a tablet significantly thicker, and they’re extremely power efficient.

And we don’t have to just take Digitimes’ word for it either, there’s other evidence. AppleInsider points to a recent investor note from Jeffries analyst Peter Misek regarding the subject:

“In our view, this [IGZO panels] should lead to several design advantages, namely the device can be thinner, battery life should be longer, and the overall experience for users should be meaningfully improved.”

And who is expected to be manufacturing these displays? Sharp. You know, that Japanese company that Apple is rumored to have recently invested a billion dollars in? Yeah, that Sharp.

We try to maintain a certain level of criticism with Apple rumors, but given the fact that IGZO panels exist, and have been proven to be mass-manufacturable, we wouldn’t be surprised if this one materialized. And if it did, we could see an iPad 3 next year with a Retina display, extended battery life, and hardware that’s as thin, if not thinner, than the current model. Wow.