Apple May Bring in Macbooks with IGZO Panels, This Year

9 Jan
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By Aditya Srivastava, The Tech Portal

Reports from IHS state that indium gallium zinc oxide(IGZO) materials would be used in Apple’s MacBook Pro displays as soon as this year. However, the company may continue using the current amorphous silicon(a-si) material for the MacBook Pro displays until the end of the first quarter, stated IHS to DigiTimes.

Samsung and Sharp are reported to supply IGZO panels to Apple from the mid-2017s. The mass-production of such material by Sharp began in 2012. However, such displays have only been used in iPads until now, and they were never deployed in Apple’s laptops despite strong arguments being made in favor of their use. The rumors about the launch of MacBook Pro with IGZO display in 2014 proved to be false.

IGZO is a semiconductor material comprising of Indium, Gallium, Zinc and Oxygen. It is superior to the standard a-si used in the LED display as the former has 40 times more electron mobility than the latter, which is why IGZO offers less power consumption, improved touch sensitivity, and increased pixel density. All this leads to a high resolution display.

Reymond Soneira, president of DisplayMate, pronounced that IGZO culd offer higher brightness facility, but it has a high manufacturing cost. It is for this very reason that its adoption is slow. Meanwhile, one couldn’t help but wonder to what level the prices for the already expensive Macbooks will jump once Apple does start using these panels.

Apple ordered 8.8 million MacBook Pro display panels last year, and IHS estimates an increase up to 9.7 million units in 2017.

Sometimes IGZO is simply referred to as Metal Oxide, the higher the PPI and the wider the Color Gamut (like DCI-P3 for the new MacBook Pro) the greater the benefits of IGZO over a-Si, particularly for LCDs.”

A thinner MacBook Pro could be expected considering the fact that the glass edge and backplane circuitry of IGZO displays can also be shrinked. However, Apple is more inclined towards power saving. And Apple has also redesigned the MacBook Pro for the first time in last four years and considering this fact, any change in design is less likely to happen.

It is also being estimated that, the switch to IGZO display could be Apple’s strategy for the next gen MacBook Pro. Ming-Chi Kuo, analyst for KGIsecurities said that the new models of MacBook Pro would be launched in the other half of 2017 with 32 GB RAM ad faster Kaby Lake processors.

Apple ordered 8.8 million units of MacBook Pro display pannels in 2016, and IHS has estimated that this count will rise to 9.7 million units this year.