Print 22 comment(s) - last by JimFear.. on May 6 at 10:22 AM

Making a comment on being earth-friendly, Steve Jobs announces LED back-lit LCD panels

The last time Steve Jobs made a personal comment on Apple's front page was when the company was criticized for having let one of its suppliers, Foxconn, treat workers poorly in foreign countries. Jobs stepped up and attempted to ease the tension alongside Apple having launched its own probe into the affair. Today, Apple posted another press release signed by its chairman and CEO to make a commitment into being a more environmentally friendly company.

Coincidentally, Apple also slipped in a tidbit about the future of its LCD displays. Jobs mentioned in his post that one of the key areas that his company was striving for was the removal of mercury in the use of its products. Mercury is a chemical element that is present in LCDs that use fluorescent tube backlights. Apple will announce LED backlit displays within 2007, which eliminate the use of mercury, Jobs said.

"Fortunately, all iPod displays already use LEDs for illumination, and therefore contain no mercury." Jobs said. "Our ability to completely eliminate fluorescent lamps in all of our displays depends on how fast the LCD industry can transition to LED backlighting for larger displays."

Users will gain several advantages with the arrival of LED backlit LCD panels. One key advantage is LED backlit LCD panels have greater backlight uniformity than cold cathode fluorescent tube-based LCDs. This gives professionals more color accuracy and a larger gamut. Of course being green means energy saving, and LED panels use far less energy than fluorescent tubes.

Jobs also mentioned Apple is very committed to reducing e-waste around the globe and his company is looking into new ways of designing more earth-friendly products as well as sourcing new materials.

"Apple is already a leader in innovation and engineering, and we are applying these same talents to become an environmental leader," Jobs said.

After Jobs' announcement, Greenpeace quickly responded by indicating that because of Apple's new commitments, it will update Apple's 2.7 out of 10 rating to a approximately a 5.

"Apple fans have greeted this campaign, and they have made clear what they want-- an Apple which is not just green skin-deep, but green to the core," the Greenpeace said.

The Greenpeace group also asks that Apple develop a program to recycle unwanted products in an earth-friendly fashion, and Apple is doing just that. Old iPods will be accepted at all 150 Apple stores in exchange for a discount on a purchase of a new iPod. Oddly enough, Greenpeace was kicked out of MacWorld late last year for voicing its opinions on products being displayed at the show.

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By Runiteshark on 5/4/2007 3:08:13 AM , Rating: 5
This gives professionals more color accuracy and a larger gamut.

Nonsense. Everybody knows that previous Apple©® Mac™ laptops had perfect screens. Any Mac™ professional will tell you that the color reproduction on any screen on a Mac™ regardless of model or age, has perfect image reproduction. So in light of this, it is impossible to have a more perfect color reproduction and gamut then is already on the perfect Apple©® Mac™ screen. I don't know where Steve Jobs©™ gets off and thinks he can lie to all his zealots™ either.

Anyway, in actual relation to the article, its great that Apple©® Zealots™ and professionals can now get what everybody else can get with their laptops.

RE: Nonsense.
By logaldinho on 5/4/07, Rating: 0
RE: Nonsense.
By mrteddyears on 5/4/07, Rating: 0
RE: Nonsense.
By Flunk on 5/4/2007 10:28:53 AM , Rating: 2

RE: Nonsense.
By HaZaRd2K6 on 5/4/2007 11:16:15 AM , Rating: 1
I agree. Quite annoying.

However, the writer of the article clearly doesn't realise that there is [i]NO[/i] such thing as "perfect image reproduction." Ever wonder why screens (any screens--TV screens, computer monitors, whatever) can't display the shade of blue that the sky is? Because they don't have "perfect image reproduction". Also, "perfect image reproduction" is purely judgmental. Maybe my perfect screen is brighter than yours, or has deeper blacks than yours--who knows?

My point is this: there is no such thing as a perfect screen. No screen can display all the colours of nature, to use a cliché, so why try? If you want to see something reproduced perfectly, go see it in person.

RE: Nonsense.
By Oregonian2 on 5/4/2007 2:40:35 PM , Rating: 1
However, the writer of the article clearly doesn't realise that there is [i]NO[/i] such thing as "perfect image reproduction." Ever wonder why screens (any screens--TV screens, computer monitors, whatever) can't display the shade of blue that the sky is?

You missed his very funny tongue-in-cheek point. Apple fanboys constantly drill how Apple stuff is perfect and the better than that's even theoretically possible in the real world. To the point of being very annoying. So Apple saying that things will improve contradicts the fanboy perfection statements. It's more poking fun at the Apple zealots than anything else, not a technical statement.

And it made me smile a lot.

RE: Nonsense.
By FoxFour on 5/4/2007 8:22:10 PM , Rating: 2
While you are correct that "perfect image reproduction" is a limit that we can only approach -- never reach -- with physical display technology, it is absurd to suggest that we don't bother trying. That is akin to saying that the last ten years of rapidly improving game graphics have been a waste of time, since they'll never be "perfect".

Likewise, people should never try to improve themselves in any regard, because they can never achieve perfection and that makes the attempt pointless. I'd hate to see that world.

I, for one, welcome an increased color gamut in my computer display because unfortunately, I can't just pick up and go see the heather hills of Scotland or the mountains of Mars on a whim. What I see on my monitor is as close as I'm going to get.

RE: Nonsense.
By JimFear on 5/6/2007 10:14:48 AM , Rating: 2
Zing! :D

By subhajit on 5/4/2007 5:14:30 AM , Rating: 2
How is this LCD different from any other LED Back lit LCD? I mean besides the price...

RE: So
By GlassHouse69 on 5/4/2007 10:35:46 AM , Rating: 1
I know! it is probably due to there not being any led backlit monitor to purchase right now!

RE: So
By sxr7171 on 5/5/2007 12:00:51 PM , Rating: 2
Not on my X60s Thinkpad with the LED backlit ultralight screen. It's nice and bright and very light.

RE: So
By adt6247 on 5/4/2007 11:04:19 AM , Rating: 2
Well, I think the biggest impact will be in their products with integrated screens, like laptops and iMacs.

I have a Mac, but it's connected to monitors by another manufacturer. The Apple monitors look fantastic -- but that's not worth paying an extra 50%-80% for...

RE: So
By Oregonian2 on 5/4/2007 2:46:23 PM , Rating: 1
The actual light you see will come from LEDs rather than fluorescent lamps so it'll be more efficient and not have the mercury that fluorescent lamps require (which makes the save-the-earth campaigns to replace incandescent lamps with fluorescent lamps one that trades earth warming with poisoning of the people -- kind of funny). As mentioned, it's supposed to help the colors too. Not that LED colors are necessarily great, but better than the fluorescent based lighting used previously.

RE: So
By EclipsedAurora on 5/5/07, Rating: 0
Oh please
By mcnabney on 5/4/2007 12:19:42 PM , Rating: 2
So Apple is trying to take credit (and Greenpeace is giving it) for normal changes in technology?

In that case I would like to declare that magnetic storage will get cheaper and larger, microprocessors will go faster, and computers will need more RAM in the future. Where's my accolade?

RE: Oh please
By Oregonian2 on 5/4/2007 2:55:51 PM , Rating: 1
Kinda. It's really Europe that forced everything, not Greenpeace (unless they influenced Europe). The ROHS standards to sell in Europe pushed the lead (and five other materials) out of production, that made process lines go ROHS and the ball was rolling where it's better/cheaper to be ROHS than not because most production lines have changed that way. That made part mfgrs make ROHS parts, etc. Took a LONG time, but the hump is gotten over. Some important industries (like telecom) are "behind" the switchover so it could be found out if the new materials are reliable long term (else it'd be interesting if the worlds infrastructure fell apart after ten years because leadfree solder or its higher temperature caused a problem longterm). But it's all switching over now, including Apple. Really no practical way not to without increasing cost to do things (used to be the other way around). So, I criticize what European policy makers do often enough, but this was a good one for them.

RE: Oh please
By JimFear on 5/6/2007 10:22:24 AM , Rating: 2
Something quite funny about the ROHS is that lead free solder is the main culprit for the red ring of death on the 360's because it has a higher melting point after the initial melt, which also means that re-soldering can actually kill the 360 unit so more go in the bin. We also get the whole "electronics must last much longer" initiative from the EU which is why our stuff is normally much more expensive, delayed and cut down (less parts = less chance of breaking but needs better engineering).

For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction :)

By ADDAvenger on 5/4/2007 3:20:33 AM , Rating: 3
Could this new demand intice more LED panels so the rest of us can have them for cheap? That seems to be how it goes when new tech is becoming mainstream, and it sounds like good news to me.

I'm not so much interested in it for the better color (betcha I can't tell the difference unless they're side by side), but the better battery life LED brings. Yeah the environmental thing is kinda cool too, but it's well-known that there's all kinds of nasty stuff that is needed to make electronics, particularly laptops, so that doesn't really matter to me, since it's going to be "bad" anyway. Greenpeace needs to DIAF, BTW, but that's just my take on it ;)

In fact...
By Andre Oliveira on 5/4/2007 12:28:29 PM , Rating: 3
By Harkonnen on 5/4/2007 12:22:48 AM , Rating: 2
Would just like to point out a small error. In the last sentence of the second paragraph.

Jobs indicated that within 2007, Apple will be announcing new displays that use LCD for backlights.

I'm assuming "LCD" should be "LED"

Okey Dokey
By Goty on 5/4/2007 9:19:50 AM , Rating: 2
The only way this turn of events would really interest me would be in the event that they immediately take this technology an apply it to their laptops; their desktop LCDs are already pretty much priced above every other (read better performing) display on the market, so even slightly better performance isn't going to help things assuming that there will be an accompanying price increase.

By SiliconAddict on 5/4/07, Rating: -1
"If you mod me down, I will become more insightful than you can possibly imagine." -- Slashdot

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