Apple’s (NASDAQ:AAPL) “iPad 5,” which is likely to be released by the end of the third quarter or early in the fourth quarter, will feature GF2 touch-screen technology, a new report said on Wednesday.
The GF2 technology, which is also called the “GF Ditto,” will make the new tablet thinner and lighter than its predecessor, which carries the G/G touch-screen technology. The new touch-screen panels are expected to be supplied by Taiwan-based TPK (TPE:3673) and Foxconn’s (TPE:2354) subsidiary GIS, DigiTimes reported on Wednesday.
The iPad 5, which is expected to sport a slimmer bezel design similar to that of the iPad mini, is rumored to come with a 9.7-inch screen with a resolution of 2048x1536 pixels and with a pixel density of 264 ppi -- a configuration that is similar to that of the current iPad version.
According to research firm DisplaySearch, Apple used G/G-type touch panels for iPads from 2010 to 2012, but switched to GF2 for the iPad mini in 2012 and will likely adopt the same for the full sized iPad in 2013.
"Mobile phone and tablet touch technologies and sensor structures are evolving quickly, due in large part to Apple's move away from GG structure to in-cell touch technology and GF2," DigiTimes quoted Calvin Hsieh, research director at DisplaySearch, as saying.
Meanwhile, current rumors also suggest that Apple will sever ties with Taiwan’s AU Optronics as its display supplier for the Retina iPad mini 2 because of production issues and will turn to Samsung (KRX:005935) for manufacturing the low-power LCD screens for the device.
According to ET News, AU Optronics began supplying display panels to Apple last year, thanks to its competitive prices. However, because it failed to meet Apple's supply deadlines or to develop an LCD with a high penetration rate, the company could not convince Apple to retain its services for a future iPad mini model, and instead opened the door for Samsung to join LG (NYSE:LPL) and Sharp (TYO:6753) as a potential display manufacturer.
Rumors have it that Sharp could provide Apple with Oxide thin-film transistor technology while LG and Samsung could help out with low-temperature polycrystalline silicon technology.
As for the release dates of the iPad 5 and the Retina iPad mini 2, Ming-Chi Kuo, an analyst at KGI Securities, recently said in a research note that Apple may unveil the iPad 5 in early September, while the iPad mini 2 with the Retina Display could arrive in the first quarter of 2014.