Foxconn to handle stateside production, AU Optronics to do IGZO
A pair of unconfirmed reports from the sometimes-accurate Taiwanese trade publication DigiTimes claims that Apple is exploring the idea of moving Mac mini production to a Foxconn Electronics facility in the US, and that Apple is evaluating switching its iOS devices to IGZO display panels in a rollout of revisions across 2013. Sharp, the company behind the IGZO technology, has allegedly licensed Innolux Corporation and may possibly add AU Optroics to help produce displays.
2013 to be the year of high-res mobile displays
A new report by Digitimes Research examing developments in the flat panel market shows that a major trend expected in 2013 will be a shift towards much higher resolution displays for mobile devices. The report estimates that smartphone panels with 400 pixels per inch and higher, which only began in this quarter, will reach around 78 million units by this time next year. Conversely, panels with 150ppi and less will start to decline as users demand better displays on their devices, a trend started by Apple with the iPhone 4 in 2010 that featured a display with a pixel density of 326ppi.
Two sizes of eco-friendly displays available at launch
BenQ America today introduced its latest monitor line -- the VW30 Series of vertical alignment (VA) LED monitors. The VW30s will connect to any MacBook through an M-book mode, recreating authentic MacBook picture quality, gamma, and whitepoint on either the 21.5-inch or 24-inch displays. Additionally, a new Reading Mode is implemented, giving the monitors automatic adjustments to simulate the warmth of reading paper.
Sharp ramping up next-gen mobile display production
Taking a leaf from Sony President Sir Howard Stringer, who let it be known that it was supplying camera sensors to Apple, Sharp President Takashi Okuda has done likewise. Speaking to journalists following Sharp's $1.2 billion loss for Q1, Okuda touted that its new mobile displays headed for the new iPhone "will start in August." However, Okuda wouldn't be pushed beyond revealing that the displays were now ready for OEMs.
Addresses 'low resolution mode' fix, Windows issues
Apple has published a FAQ page dealing with questions regarding the new Retina MacBook Pro models, mentioning a fix for some programs that may not run correctly in the high-resolution mode, tips for working with more than one display, and answering concerns about Boot Camp and other multi-boot environments. The FAQ also reveals how to coax alternative resolution settings out of the Displays panel.
May bring new display tech to future products
Just two months after Foxconn bought a 10 percent stake in Sharp, the two companies have announced a collaboration on a plant in Chengdu, China that will be used to build iPhone displays and potentially displays for other products. Foxconn will build the plant, and Sharp will assist by supplying technology, which may be used to further expand its ability to produce displays using its IGZO formulation, along with possible poly-silicon LCD screens.
Enables two external monitors for mobile Macs
Matrox has refined its DualHead2Go product that lets Mac notebook users add a second external monitor to now incorporate MiniDisplayPort or Thunderbolt in the DualHead2Go Digital Mac Edition (ME). The breakout box enables a single port to now run two external DVI-based displays at up to 1920x1200 resolution. The unit comes bundled with PowerDesk software to help users manage and arrage multi-display setups and supports Lion's full-screen application mode.
Companies amend partnership agreement
Sony and Sharp have announced that they have amended their partnership agreement for the joint venture known as Sharp Display Productions Corporation (SDP). Although the companies had been considering further investment, primarily involving new funds provided by Sony, the plans appear to have been put on hold amid uncertainty surrounding Sharp's operations.
LED-backlit TN panels in a variety of sizes
Acer has imported four of its European LED-backlit LCD monitors to the US, a total of five models that range from the 20-inch S200HL to the 27-inch S271HL, which sports full 1080p HD resolution (1920x1080). The monitors, all using TN panels, range from $139 to $329 and will be available in April. All five feature eColor management buttons, have tilt bases and sport a 1,000,000:1 contrast ration and a 5ms response time, all while using 68 percent less power than florescent-backlit LCD displays.
Samsung, LG step in to provide new displays
A new rumor (amid conflicting reports) now contradicts an old rumor: Sharp, said to have been the beneficiary of a long-term investment worth nearly $4 billion by Apple at the beginning of the year to make new-technology screens for future devices, is now reported to be out of the running for screens on the expected iPad 3 due to either a failure to meet supply requirements or simply didn't make the cut in terms of quality. Samsung and LG are said to now be providing new higher-rez displays for the iPad 3.
New process to develop lower-cost mobile displays
Hitachi is prepping a high-resolution 720p capable 4.5-inch mobile display. Although delivering a Apple Retina display beating 329 pixels per inch and using IPS technology, the display is manufactured using more cost-effective processes. Instead of using a low-temperature polysilicon (LTPS) technology as most LCD displays, Hitachi is using a new approach that is amorphous silicon-based and which is cheaper to make.
New display raises price up to $795
Clover Systems has introduced a new netbook, the SunBook, featuring a 1024x600 Pixel Qi display that can be viewed in direct sunlight. In bright ambient lighting without the backlight activated, the Pixel Qi display takes on an appearance similar to that of e-book readers with grayscale electronic-paper displays. When the backlight is used under dim lighting or dark environments, users can then view content in full color.
Displays boast 1080p resolution, 50,000:1 contrast
Dell has quietly introduced several new monitors, the 21.5-inch ST2210 and the 23-inch ST2310. Both displays feature 1080p resolution and a 16:9 aspect ratio, along with an anti-glare coating on the panel. The company also lists a 50,000:1 dynamic contrast ratio, 250cd/m˛ brightness and 5ms response time.
Apple certified reconditioned displays in 20-in., 23-in., and 30-in. sizes are now available at the Apple Store ranging from $499 to $1,499. The 20-in. model ($499) features 1680 x 1050 resolution while the 23-in. ($749) and the 30-in. ($1,499) models both feature HD screens with 1920 x 1200 resolution on the 23-in. and 2560 x 1600 resolution on the 30-in. Each display also includes two FireWire 400 ports and two USB 2.0 ports.
Apple head-mounted display
The US Patent and Trademark Office today published several applications by Apple, two of which are connected to a concept unusual for the company, that of a head-mounted display (HMD). The first describes the HMD itself, which unlike most such displays, would use a laser light engine to render the images displayed in front of the user's eyes. Furthermore, this engine would actually be separate from the necessary glasses, thus reducing their size and weight as well as the effect of heat. To project the laser light, a fiber-optic cable and special wedge optics would be be used. Images could be full-color, and presented with a stereoscopic effect.
Gefen has introduced a new USB to DVI Graphics Adapter that allows users to connect additional displays Mac OS X systems. This tiny adapter allows a plug and play connection of a DVI or VGA display to any USB 2.0 port so you can add digital video displays or projectors to your laptop and personal computer for simultaneous video delivery without needing a DVI port. Output video is delivered in the DVI-I format, allowing for either VGA or DVI display compatibility.
Matrox GXM software
Matrox Graphic has released a new software utility for Graphics eXpansion Modules (GXMs) operating under Mac OS X. The control panel enables additional resolutions for the DualHead2Go and TripleHead2Go Digital Edition products, offering enhanced multi-display support for compatible Mac notebooks and workstations. GXMs are small black boxes that connect externally to a system's monitor output to achieve an ultra-wide desktop across two or three displays. The software is a a free download available for DualHead2Go Digital Edition and TripleHead2Go Digital Edition.
In addition to its 42-inch curved display, NEC today unveiled one of its largest conventional displays yet in the form of the LCD3090WQXi. The 30-inch display is built for video editors or nearly any user concerned with faithful above all else. Through new 12-bit color processing and a new backlight, the screen accurately paints 102 percent of the NTSC color gamut and nearly 98 percent of the Adobe RGB space, by NEC's estimates. It also actively corrects color uniformity problems and other issues.
ViewSonic has introduced the VP 50 Series -- 22-inch widescreen VP2250wb, 26-inch widescreen VP2650wb and traditional 4:3 19-inch VP950b -- displays, which include up to 110 percent color gamut based on the National Television System Committee (NTSC) guidelines and OptiColor technology for better accuracy and more detailed images in any viewing environment. To compliment the increased color gamut, the displays have quick response time, dynamic contrast ratio and four USB ports. Priced at $380, the VP950b combines 1280x1024 native resolution, 2ms response time, 280 nits of brightness (typ). The VP2250wb, priced at $450 ESP, sports a 1680x1050 native resolution, 2ms response time and 3000:1 dynamic contrast ratio. The VP2650wb boosts a 1920x1200 native resolution, 3ms response time and a 3000:1 dynamic contrast ratio (typ) providing the ability to display true high definition 1080i or 1080p content. The VP2650wb will be sold for $580.