Apple looking to use IGZO displays in next-gen iOS devices

iPad avert (Do It All, business),

Apple is reportedly in talks with Sharp to use the company’s IGZO (Indium gallium zinc oxide) technology in its next-generation iPhones and iPads. The backplane tech, which has been a hot topic over the past several months, allows for thinner, high resolution displays that require substantially less power…

Here’s DigiTimes with the report:

“Apple is reportedly further evaluating how much IGZO panel supply will be available in 2013 if it were to use the technology in its next generation iPad, iPad mini and iPhone products, according to industry sources.”

Sharp doesn’t have a lot going for it right now, but its IGZO display tech is attracting a lot of attention. In fact, the company has said that it plans to discontinue its work with larger TV panels in order to focus on its mobile game, as a number of high-profile investors, including Qualcomm, have shown interest.

So what’s so special about IGZO technology? Well as aforementioned, it’s a new type of display tech that requires very little power thanks to its higher electron mobility (40x). It’s also thinner, meaning displays, and ultimately devices, can be made thinner. And it’s being used in everything from tablets to television sets.

Looking at the chunky iPad 3/4, it shouldn’t be hard to see why IGZO tech appeals to Apple. The Cupertino company has been rumored to be using IGZO displays in its iOS devices for over a year now, ranging from the third-generation iPad, to this year’s iPad mini. But obviously, those reports have never materialized.

This time seems to be different though, as Apple is said to be talking to AU Optronics, in addition to Sharp, to determine whether or not it could also produce the IGZO panels to help prevent supply shortages. It’s believed that Apple is looking to start incorporating the technology in its mobile devices as early as next year.

I know I certainly wouldn’t mind a thinner iPhone/iPad with better battery life, what about you?