Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Panels for Apple iPhone could come from Japan

Local report from Taiwan says iPhone panels may come from Japan

Although market speculations recently indicated that AU Optronics (AUO) and Innolux Display may receive orders from Apple for its iPhone panels, sources at panel makers recently said the major suppliers for the panels may be two Japan-based players while an unspecified Taiwan-based company may be a secondary source for the iPhone panels.

The speculation that AUO and Innolux may be iPhone panel suppliers has not been verified, though Taiwan-based panel makers said Japan-based players still have advantages in the handset panel segment. Therefore, it is still difficult for Taiwan-based players to land iPhone panel orders, the makers noted.

Sources said iPhone panels will likely adopt low-temperature poly-silicon (LTPS) panels since the technology features a more flexible circuit design.

AUO and TPO Displays are the only two Taiwan-based panel makers producing LTPS panels now.

Earlier this month, the Chinese-language Economic Daily News (EDN) quoted Hsing C Tuan, president of Innolux, as saying it landed orders for iPhone panels and the company will ship a great volume of panels for use in smart phone panels. However, Innolux has not yet officially backed up that claim.

In January, Apple revealed it will launch iPhones in the US in June 2007, Europe in late 2007, and Asia in 2008, in a 4GB model for US$499 and an 8GB model for US$599. The device's 3.5-inch widescreen display allows users to watch TV shows and movies on a pocket-sized device, with touch controls for play-pause, chapter forward-backward and volume.

The current mainstream size for handset panels is between 2.2 and 2.8 inches.


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