iPad 2G in Q1 2011: Display Manufacturers
According to DigiTimes
, the perennial source of rumors out of the East Asian electronics manufacturing industry, LCD component suppliers in Taiwan are saying that they're gearing up to produce touchscreens for the second generation iPad. The new displays, which the manufacturers say will be available "in the first quarter of 2011," are the same size as the current screens, casting some doubts on recent rumors
(which were originally peddled by - guess who? - DigiTimes
!) about a smaller 7-inch iPad.
DigiTimes writer Susie Pan quotes sources at TPK Touch Solutions, Chimei Innolux (CMI) and Wintek as saying that they are "completing validation with Apple" on what are said to be "ultra-thin glass-based touch panels" for the second-generation iPad. The manufacturers have increased capacity, according to the report, to deal with expected demand for the new device. Additionally, the CMI and Wintek plants are referred to as "4.5G," an intermediate step to 5G or fifth-generation LCD manufacturing that's capable of creating LCD sheets 1 meter square. Bigger sheets mean more panels per sheet, so they can turn out more panels at a lower cost.
The news comes amid an increasing number of reports of Apple rushing a second-generation iPad out in time for the holidays. In general, Apple has limited refreshes of its mobile product lines to once a year. Most industry observers expect a front-facing camera and FaceTime support to be in the new model, while the rumors about a smaller "mini iPad
" (ugh) have persisted. The current report neither confirms nor denies the smaller form-factor device, so it's possible that there could be two variants.