updated 11:23 am EST, Fri February 1, 2013
LG, Sharp tapped as panel suppliers
The fifth-generation iPad will use the same G/F2 (DITO) thin-film touchscreen format as the iPad mini, claim industry sources for DigiTimes. The fourth-gen model uses a more conventional G/G touchscreen arrangement, but the sources suggest that Apple may feel it has enough supply of DITO to carry it over to the flagship iPad. The technology could help make the tablet even thinner and lighter than it is currently.
The sources suggest that Nitto will supply thin-film materials, while Nissha Printing will deliver touchscreen modules. TPK is expected to handle lamination, while Sharp and LG Display will produce panels, the sources say.
Apple took significant steps to minimize the size and weight of the Mini. Beyond switching to DITO and a 7.9-inch screen, Apple reduced the ratio of the bezel, requiring new iOS code to block hand grips from being detected. Although the fifth-gen iPad should retain a 9.7-inch size, a number of rumors have suggested that Apple intends to adapt the Mini's design principles.