updated 07:35 am EST, Thu November 19, 2009
Second Apple tablet would have new screen
Apple may have delayed the launch of its repeatedly rumored tablet line to incorporate newer parts that could include an OLED touchscreen, a purported leak claims today. While an often mentioned 10.6-inch version with an LCD is still deemed on tap, the entire line may have been moved to the second half of 2010 to accommodate a 9.7-inch OLED from LG Display. The company may be delaying the launch to wait for OLED prices to fall, as a panel costs $500 today where Apple could save $200 to $300 just by waiting several months.
Unofficial estimates from DigiTimes claim the pure manufacturing cost of the OLED tablet would originally have cost between $1,500 and $1,700 but could reach $1,200 to $1,500 if Apple waits. The retail cost could be as high as $2,000 and may lead many users to buy the LCD version, which is estimated to cost between $800 and $1,000.
The prices would be expensive for tablet devices, but a version with 3G could offset the price by seeing some of the price subsidized by a carrier.
In addition to the tablet, the same sources assert that Apple's $500 million deal with LG Display for displays will specifically give the American company better deals on OLEDs in general should it choose to use them for given products. OLEDs aren't likely to become cost effective until later into the five-year agreement but have a number of technical advantages, especially in handheld devices. Although harder to see in bright daylight, they can display true black and produce much richer colors; on average, they also consume less energy than LCDs and are thinner since they produce their own illumination without a backlight.