Sharp has often been cited as one of Apple's current display suppliers, however the importance of Sharp technology to the design of the iPad 3 may have been underestimated. LG Display and Samsung have also been providing displays to Apple for its devices, but if sources at AppleInsider are correct, it's Sharp that will soon take center stage.
The report revolves around groundbreaking IGZO technology that is ready for mass production and provides Apple with an alternative to the current IPS LCD display used in the iPad and iPad 2. The advantage of IPS is its wide viewing angle, but Apple is always on the lookout for lighter, more efficient components for its designs.
Sharp IGZO refers to indium, gallium, and zinc transistors, which replace standard amorphous silicon thin-film transistors in the new displays. Their strength is electron mobility 20-30 times higher than standard transistors, which translates into smaller pixels for higher resolution. Not only this, but more light passes through the IGZO display which saves a significant amount of power in the backlight.
This all means that an IGZO display could give Apple a design advantage, simultaneously making the iPad 3 thinner and more efficient with longer battery life and a Retina display. This completely refutes previous rumors of a thicker iPad on the way and makes it seem less likely that an Apple patent for dual OLED backlights will be necessary to maintain brightness levels despite the higher resolution.
IGZO displays are said to be only 25 percent thicker than OLED technology, and with OLED-like power consumption Apple could presumably make the battery thinner to slim down the next generation iPad 3 hardware even further.