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Limited supply reportedly keeps AMOLED from Apple's next-gen iPad


Casting even more doubt on the prospect of an active-matrix organic LED display in Apple's anticipated second-generation iPad, a new report claims that limited component supplies have been a "major reason" for Apple to overlook the technology.

In an editorial posted Friday by Taiwanese industry publication DigiTimes, Rebecca Kuo said that component makers in Taiwan and China are attempting to catch up with Korea, which is the leader in AMOLED displays. Though suppliers are increasing their production, she said it still isn't enough for Apple.

"With backlight unit (BLU) makers set to be suppliers for the second generation of iPad, AMOLED will still be unable to enter Apple's supply chain," she said. "Panel makers have noted that a major reason for Apple to overlook AMOLED for iPads is insufficient supplies."

Korea-based Samsung Mobile Display currently creates AMOLED panels between 2 inches and 4.2 inches, but its capacity is allegedly not enough to meet demand for the Samsung Galaxy S, Google Nexus S, or other phones from Nokia and HTC.

"Moreover, the current AMOLED technology is not suitable for volume production of 7- to 11-inch tablet PC panels, and the mass production cost will not be able to compete with TFT-LCD panels," Kuo wrote.

The details come just after the same publication claimed that an LCD backlight supplier has been selected for Apple's second-generation iPad expected to debut in the first quarter of 2011. DigiTimes has claimed that Apple experimented with an AMOLED display for the iPhone, but ultimately rejected the hardware because it was less suitable for displaying text, and because of display issues.

Rumors of an iPad with an AMOLED display, mostly perpetuated by DigiTimes itself, were repeated for months. The site also incorrectly reported in Nov. 2009 that Apple's not-yet-announced iPad would have an OLED display that would cost about $2,000 at retail.