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Apple picks up extra supplier of IGZO displays for MacBooks

Apple has reportedly added China's BOE Technology as a further supplier of IGZO panels for the displays on MacBooks, supporting expanding sales.

Apple Retina MacBook



BOE entered Apple's notebook chain "recently," according to DigiTimes. Though relatively unknown to the public, the company has a market cap in excess of $115 billion. LCDs are the focus of its business, even if it also has toes in fields such as backlighting and photovoltaics.

Apple has used indium gallium zinc oxide, or IGZO, panels in its products for some time, including iPads. Its main IGZO supplier has been Sharp, now owned by Foxconn — presumably rising iPad and MacBook shipments have demanded more help. While June-quarter iPad numbers were up just 1 percent year-over-year to 11.6 million, and Mac numbers were down to 3.7 million, the company only recently launched new MacBook Pros, and shipments should improve dramatically after expected fall announcements of lower-cost MacBooks and updated iPad Pros.

The former may include an overhauled 13-inch model similiar to the current Air, but with thinner bezels and a Retina display. The new iPads should also have thinner bezels, if not fully edge-to-edge like the iPhone X. They will also likely switch from Touch ID to Face ID, dropping home buttons in the process.

Apple doesn't yet appear ready to switch either iPads or MacBooks over to OLED. The technology is still often prohibitively expensive for anything bigger than an iPhone or Apple Watch, and indeed much of the iPhone X's $999-plus pricetag can be linked to its 5.8-inch OLED panel.

The company is slated to hold its usual fall press event on Sept. 12. It will likely concentrate on three new iPhone models and a fourth-generation Watch.