Legal troubles having no effect
Despite legal battles between the two companies, Samsung is actually gaining ground as a display supplier for Apple, says NPD DisplaySearch. Samsung shipped more 9.7-inch iPad panels in April and June than Apple's other major display partner, LG Display. NPD notes moreover that Apple been increasing its orders since January; whereas it picked up 2.3 million panels from Samsung in the first quarter, shipments rose to over 4.1 million in Q2.
Samsung could be replacement
As a result of the latter's production problems, Apple won't be taking on AU Optronics as an LCD supplier for the second-generation iPad mini, says ETNews. LCDs for the first-gen Mini are provided by AUO, Sharp, and LG Display. Apple has reportedly forged a deal with LG for the next Mini, and is thought likely to take on Sharp again, since it can provide low-power oxide semiconductor panels.
Would make Mini display Apple's second-sharpest
The next-generation iPad mini will get a display with 324 pixels per inch, says Chinese site My Drivers. The information stems from sources at Taiwanese Apple suppliers, who say that AU Optronics is piloting production of the new tablet. The hardware is expected to use a 2048x1536 display resolution, the same as the fourth-generation 9.7-inch iPad, despite having to compress that detail onto a 7.9-inch screen.
Production problems said to be hampering display supplies
Shipments of the iMac and iPad mini may be limited until sometime in the first quarter of 2013, claim industry sources for Digitimes. Display panels for the iPad mini are reportedly produced by AU Optronics and LG Display, and AU is said to be getting a yield rate of just 22 percent, compared with the 40 percent it was originally aiming for. Complicating matters further is a supply shortage on the part of backlight module makers. The sources assert that Apple wanted to ship 10 million iPad minis during Q4 2012, but might only be able to hit 6 million.
Parts use 16:9 display ratio
A Ukrainian website says it has obtained parts for Apple's upcoming 8-inch iPad, often known as the iPad mini. The parts are said to have come from a source who visited a factory in Asia. Some notable aspects include plastic spacers to allow 3G/4G signals, a bottom-mounted headphone jack, and a nano-SIM tray which allegedly broke off in disassembling the hardware.
Several Apple suppliers among implicated parties
Several LCD manufacturers are paying out a total of $1.12 billion to settle a class action lawsuit over price fixing, the Wall Street Journal reports. LG will lose the most in the arrangement, paying out $380 million. AU Optronics is on hook for $170 million, while Toshiba is due for $21 million. Several other companies settled earlier in the year, including Samsung, which gave up $240 million.
AUO starts mass production of AMOLED panels
Taiwanese display giant AU Optronics is set to ship its first AMOLED mobile display panels to Sony and HTC in June, according to Digitimes. Currently, Samsung display division dominates the manufacture of AMOLED panels. However, AU Optronics yield rates are only at 20 percent on average at this early stage in its implementation of the technology, meaning that it will still be some time before it poses a serious competitive threat to Samsung.
2012 launch expected with 6 million units
Two companies, LG and AU Optronics, have been certified to supply LCD panels for Apple's rumored 7/7.85-inch iPad, says the Taiwanese publication Liberty Times. The firms are claimed to be aiming toward a product launch sometime in the second half of 2012, and an initial run of 6 million iPads. Liberty adds that TPK is expected to produce 4 million backlight modules, while Chimei Innolux will build 2 million; Nissha Printing will allegedly produce the touch film sensor.
Sony may use old partner for OLED jump
Sony might jump to its one-time partner Samsung to leap into OLED TVs. Purported insiders claimed Tuesday to Digitimes that Sony, having unsuccessfully tried a partnership with AU Optronics on large-size OLEDs, was going with Samsung-made OLED panels for some Bravia TVs due in 2013. AUO wouldn't have large-enough organic displays until late 2012, or too late for Sony to use them, according to the tip.
Sony and AU Optronics may partner on OLED TVs
Sony is said to be in talks with AU Optronics for a partnership to deliver OLED TVs, according to Reuters. The rumor is consistent with Kaz Hirai’s ‘One Sony’ strategy which was detailed last week. In it, Hirai outlined his plans to turn around the TV divisions fortunes by focusing on the development of OLED televisions and moving away from traditional LCD panels.
Former CEO cleared of charges
A US jury has found display maker AU Optronics guilty of criminally conspiring with a number of other manufacturers to artificially inflate prices of LCD panels. The conviction marks the latest affirmation of a widespread price-fixing scandal that spanned at least five years and is estimated to have cost US electronics makers billions of dollars.
Mini iPad may take thin bezel to maximize design
A rumor starting the week has the often claimed 7.85-inch small iPad using relatively new technology to make the most of its screen. Part suppliers told Digitimes they anticipated Apple using thin bezel technology to make sure as much of the screen was available as possible. Indirectly supporting this, they expected that Shuriken panel designer LG Display would make the IPS or FFS (in-plane or field fringe switching) LCD.
iPad display production plans said including mini
Persistent talk of a smaller iPad in development was fueled again after rumors surfaced on Monday. Taiwan's Economic Daily News claimed that AU Optronics had been picked as one of the suppliers for the previously mentioned 7.85-inch display's LCD panel. LG Display would also be involved, but Samsung would reportedly be out of the production loop.
Apple could be prepping 8-inch iPad
A fresh rumor has surfaced suggesting that Apple may be sampling 8-inch tablet displays from AU Optronics and LG Display, according to WSJ . Apple is known to experiment with different displays for its devices, which do not always make it to market. However, while most people opt for 10-inch tablets where the iPad dominates, smaller tablets such as the Amazon Kindle Fire have made significant inroads into the expanding tablet market, costing Apple total market share.
Honeywell files suit against Nest, Best Buy
Honeywell on Monday sued Nest Labs, makers of thermostats, for allegedly violating its patents in the US. Seven patents related to thermostat technology are in contention, with some focusing on methods of operating and programming the devices. The lawsuit also aims to involve Best Buy into it, which sells Nest Labs' thermostats.
Agree to help prosecute other LCD panel vendors
Seven LCD panel makers, including Samsung, Sharp, and Chimei Innolux, have reached accords to settle claims that they conspired to limit competition and fix prices for their displays used in laptops, monitors and TVs. If approved, the proposed $539 million settlement will resolve several cases pending in the US district court in San Francisco, and affect buyers as indirect victims. Earlier this month, another settlement for $388 million was reached in the same court with "direct" purchasers of the panels, who then put these panels into their own products.
Apple may ship tiny iPad in Q2 for Q3 sale
Apple's rumored 7.85-inch iPad was claimed late Thursday to be going into production in late spring. Part suppliers talking to Digitimes believed Apple was staggering the introduction of a second model, launching the iPad 3 towards March but shipping its miniature counterpart before the fall, leaving the summer as the likely target. Previously alluded production plans would see both AU Optronics and LG Display making the new screens.
Acer and ASUS tap AUO, Chi Mei for dense LCDs
Acer and ASUS are reportedly developing very high density displays to try to head off the iPad 3's 2048x1536 display, a new rumor claimed Wednesday. AU Optronics and Chi Mei Innolux were said by Digitimes' industry contacts to be working on 1920x1280 (incorrectly marked as 1928) LCDs that would go into new ultrabooks as soon as January or February. The Retina Display effect would be "forcing" upgrades at PC builders.
Three LCD makers said shipping 3m iPad 3 screens
Apple's iPad 3 screen plans have already seen it take millions of the displays, according to claims from the part chain made late Thursday. LG, Samsung, and new partner Sharp reportedly shipped one million of the new screens in October, with two million due to have reached assembly plants by the end of November. TPK and Wintek, which primarily make touchscreen layers, may be shipping a million units combined each month, starting as soon as this week but no later than December.
Japan Display unites to make phone, PC displays
Hitachi, Innovation Network Corporation of Japan, Sony, and Toshiba on Tuesday formalized a deal to create a united display maker. Called Japan Display, it will consolidate the production of small- to medium-sized displays, such as those on smartphones, tablets, and computers. The coalition will take 70 percent of its funding from the government-backed Innovation Network while the three private firms will each have an equal share of the rest.
Samsung only real source for OLED panels
Despite recent reports, it's unlikely that Apple will use OLED panels in its products anytime soon, says Canaccord Genuity analyst Jonathan Dorsheimer. Last Thursday a patent application emerged suggesting Apple interest in a more power-efficient OLED display. The news helped send stock of an OLED maker, Universal Display, up 17 percent during Friday trading.
Fines spread between ten companies
The South Korean government has fined 10 LCD makers for allegedly fixing prices for display components. The list of companies includes all of the major players, including Samsung, LG Display and AU Optronics. Total fines have been set at 195 billion won (~$173 million USD), though Samsung faces the largest single fine of 97.2 billion won (~$86 million USD).
Showcases 6-inch and 65-inch transparent AMOLEDs
Display maker AU Optronics has demonstrated two extremes in transparent AMOLED screen technology at the recent Yokohana Exhibition in Japan. The company showed off a large 65-inch transparent touchscreen display fitted over a vending machine to theoretically be used for buying from the machine's glass, leaving more room to show the products themselves. AUO also demonstrated a six-inch transparent AMOLED display.
Rumor has small iPad screens testing for tiny iPad
A rumored small iPad might have manifested itself if a purported leak is accurate. Both AU Optronics and LG Display were said by Taiwan's Economic Daily News to be sending Apple samples of a 7.85-inch touchscreen with the same 1024x768 resolution as the current, 9.7-inch iPad. Broadcom would supply the touchscreen's controller chipset, while Kinsus would make the substrate.
HP sues AU Optronics in US price fixing case
HP has initiated a lawsuit against Taiwanese LCD manufacturer AU Optronics in the Northern District of California over alleged price fixing for thin film LCD panels. According to Reuters , HP’s general manager for the Display Business unit confirmed that the complaint was filed under seal to protect HP’s LCD procurement processes. HP’s lawsuit follows similar action being taken by the Korean FTC against AU Optronics and several other LCD panel makers from Taiwan and Japan.
OLED panel yields said to be too low as of yet
An executive from Taiwan-based display panel maker AU Optronics suggests OLED panels of television size will not be commercially feasible until 2014, according to a DigiTimes report. The comments, which came from AUO executive vice president Paul Peng, suggest the production costs are too high as manufacturing yield rates have yet to reach a satisfactory level to compete with standard LCD panels.
AU Optronics sues Samsung, others over LCD tech
Taiwanese maker of flat panel monitors AU Optronics on Monday filed a countering lawsuit against Samsung for allegedly infringing on its flat panel patents. At the same time, the company named AT&T, Best Buy and BrandsMart USA for selling and distributing infringing tech in TVs, monitors, notebooks, cell phones and tablets. AUO asked the Delaware District Court to order a stop of sales of the infringing devices and to be given financial compensation for the alleged damage.
HTC Puccini leak has production in June
HTC's 4G-capable Puccini tablet may arrive somewhat later than first thought if component providers' new tips are accurate. Although some had put its release in June, large- scale production now isn't believed to be starting until then and would have it ship sometime later. Contacts told Digitimes AU Optronics and Apple's frequent partner Wintek would be supplying the 10-inch touchscreens.
AUO said tapped for iPad 2 screen production
A rumor on Monday claimed that AU Optronics had won a major deal to supply screens for the iPad 2. Taiwan's Economic Daily News asserted that the local but fourth-largest LCD company would make the 9.7-inch LCDs to supplement production. It might ship as many as 30 million in one year, or enough to consume more than half the production of its Taichung factory.
EU announces fines for long-running LCD cartel
The European Commission on Wednesday announced several key decisions, one of which involves fining six LCD makers for being involved in a price-fixing cartel between October 2001 and February 2006. The fines amount to the equivalent of $856 million (649 million euros) and need to be paid by Korea's Samsung and LG as well as Taiwan's AU Optronics, Chimei InnoLux, Chunghwa Picture Tubes and HannStar. While the companies are based outside of Europe, the cartel's actions affected the price of products sold in Europe.
EU watchdog to sue LG, four more for LCD cartel
LG Display and AU Optronics are two of five companies that are facing fines from European Union regulators over allegedly colluding on fixing the prices of LCD displays in consumer devices, four sources said in a recent report. One of the unnamed sources said the European Commission will announce the fines on December 8. While the EU regulator didn't name the companies, LG Display and AU and Chi Mei Optoelectronics confirmed these charges themselves.
Largest production 3D panel available
AU Optronics (AUO) today revealed that it will show a potentially record-setting 71-inch 3D LCD at the upcoming FPD International 2010 trade show. The company claims the screen is the largest 3D LCD widescreen panel available today. The panel uses passive polarization to achieve the 3D effect, which requires viewers to wear polarized glasses. It has a cinema-like aspect ratio of 21:9, which the company says makes it suitable for high-end home theater systems.
Tech said to be deadzone-free
AU Optronics has announced that it will showcase new 3D display technology at the FPD International expo. The company has built several panels claimed to be the first to display 3D imagery at all angles without requiring users to wear 3D glasses.
Cando hired to keep iPad touch layers in supply
Signs that Apple is claimed to be coming onboard to handle the workload. The AUO sub-label has reportedly been asked to make some of the touch input layers for the iPad starting from either this month or October. Digitimes understands that its new 4.5th-generation factory can cut as many as 1,000,000 iPad touch sensors a month; most of the factory would be dedicated to the Apple deal.
Smaller iPad seen still using IPS, lighter weight
Apple's rumored seven-inch iPad gained some credibility with a detailed scoop from the Taiwan-area Economic Daily News narrowing down the suppliers. Chi Mei would supply the screens, which would still use the same high quality in-plane switching (IPS) technique as the current iPad's LG-made screen, while AU Optronics would make the touch layer.
iSuppli says AMOLED still behind LCD by 2014
Tight supplies of AMOLED screens are having an impact on Android that could potentially go on for years to come, iSuppli said in a new estimate. Interest in Android phones with such displays, like the Droid Incredible and Nexus One, has put a squeeze on supply that has triggered delays both for the phones and other products. The situation has been made worse as Samsung, the dominant AMOLED supplier, can hoard AMOLEDs for phones like the Galaxy S at the expense of everyone else.
LG may be blocked from selling LCDs
AU Optronics this weekend won a patent lawsuit against LG Display that could hamper the computer and handheld businesses. A ruling by a District of Delaware court found that LG had violated four patents relating to the performance and reliability of LCDs. Taiwan-based AUO now said it would seek a permanent ban on displays that infringe on the patents and was hoping companies would voluntarily stop buying the displays.
MacBooks may get 8hr life, 640GB drives
Taiwan newspaper Apple Daily today claimed that new MacBook, MacBook Air and MacBook Pro models are due to ship this month. Unnamed sources said the systems would use the mobile Core i3, i5 and i7 processors and that the 13- and 15-inch models would all get eight-hour battery life, up an hour from today. They would also get 640GB drive options with a 256GB SSD as an alternate.
PC builders backing away from netbooks
Growth in netbooks has fallen by extreme levels in the first few months of the year, IDC has found. Netbook shipments will still have grown 33.6 percent year-over-year to 4.8 million PCs, but the growth is far less than the about 872 percent that was seen a year earlier. The decline is such that IDC now believes that most were attracted to the category solely for the price, which usually falls below $500 and lately has made $300 more common.
ASUS, MSI caught off guard by iPad price
Apple's iPad has triggered a panic in the Taiwanese PC market over the low price, according to reports from industry sources in the area. ASUS and MSI had allegedly expected Apple to charge as much as $1,000, but the $499 base price for an iPad has left them with little if any room to undercut their American rival. They had planned to price themselves between 20 to 30 percent lower but now have to reconsider as they may kill profit margins to achieve a similar effect below Apple.
Nokia sues LCD makers for price fixing
The world's largest cellphone maker, Nokia, is suing 11 manufacturers of LCD displays for allegedly colluding on fixing the prices of liquid crystal displays, according to a Tuesday WSJ report (subscription required). In the suit, filed on November 25th in San Francisco, Nokia maintains the companies raised the prices of LCDs above what they would have been in a competitive market, in a period ranging from January 1st, 1996, to December 11th, 2006. Nokia purchased these overpriced LCDs for its smartphones.
AU Optronics 14-inch OLED production-ready
Taiwan's AU Optronics at the FPD International show has been demonstrating a rare 14-inch OLED display panel capable of displaying 1080p (1920x1080). AUO claims a high 100,000:1 contrast ratio despite the size and an all-white brightness of 200cd/m2 for the panel, which is also smooth at 120Hz.
AT&T sues AU Optronics, more
AT&T has filed a lawsuit in a federal court in San Francisco on Tuesday against Samsung, LG Display, AU Optronics and other LCD makers for allegedly colluding on fixing the price of display panels in the US. According to a Wednesday Bloomberg report, AT&T claimed Samsung and six others have formed an illegal international cartel meant to "restrict competition in the United States in the market for LCD panels." In its complaint, AT&T claims this conspiracy has included communications and meetings during which defendants agreed to eliminate competition and fix the prices of LCD panels that were coming to the US.
AUO demos 20in fixed, 6in flexible displays
AU Optronics, best known for making displays for others, today unveiled a pair of relative breakthroughs for e-paper. The Taiwan-area company claims to have the largest-ever display of the kind at 20 inches across; the screen is large enough that it can be used not just for reading but for signs, where omitting a backlight can save power in an already well-lit area. It uses under 2W of power when updating.
AUO to cut e-reader prices in half
AU Optronics (AUO) said on Friday that it hopes to slash the price of e-book readers in half within two years. The Taiwan area company explained to FT that it hopes to use its experience in making LCDs, as well as the sheer scale of its production, to make the e-paper displays affordable enough that they can lead to much less expensive hardware. A $150 reader could be available in 2010, while a $100 reader will ideally ship in 2011.
Sharp, Sony in LCD venture
Sharp and Sony on Thursday announced they have entered into a joint venture agreement related to the production and sales of large LCD panels and modules. Sharp's under-construction LCD production plant in Sakai City, Japan was transferred to Sharp Display Products Corporation (SDP) on July 1st, with opening scheduled for October. On December 29th, Sony will invest 10 billion yen ($105 million) into SDP for shares, which will be the first step towards reaching the final 66% Sharp, 34% percent Sony split. This initial investment will make SDP a joint venture company of Sony as well as Sharp.
AUO shows touch e-paper
Taiwan's AU Optronics showed off an electronic book reader that combines a low-power electronic paper and a touch panel, a first for this type of product at the Display Taiwan 2009 show. The 6-inch prototype houses 800x600 pixels and has a 167dpi pixel density. It is capable of reproducing 16 gray levels, has an 8:1 contrast ratio and a reflectance of 27 percent. The touch functionality allows users to call up new pages without any dedicated buttons.
AUO 15in Multi Touch Panel
AU Optronics today revealed a handful of new displays that it hopes will bolster portable devices. Although the company has already developed multi-touch displays, the Taiwan-area firm says it has developed a new 15-inch LCD with the technology built into the cells of the panel itself. The screen uses image sensing to recognize input and so is both responsive to not just fingers but light pens. AUO says this and new 12-inch and 4.3-inch panels with similar features could be used to add multi-touch input to notebooks and larger handhelds.
Nokia Requiring AMOLED
Alleged display industry insiders today claim Nokia will make a large shift to active matrix OLED (AMOLED) displays in the near future. The cellphone designer is said to be choosing suppliers it knows have plans to create and manufacture the advanced organic screens, which are brighter and more color-rich than LCDs as well as thinner and more power-efficient.
Samsung 15.6-inch LCDs
Samsung will be the latest company to start making new, 16:9 aspect ratio LCDs for notebooks, reports from alleged display industry insiders claim. The company has previously kept to producing the 15.4-inch, 16:10 screens found in most notebooks today but is now said to be starting production on wider 15.6-inch screens that are often cited as better for movie viewing and side-by-side documents. Production would reportedly start in November, which would likely push the release of notebooks based on the LCDs to early 2009.