LG's New Dual-Function Display Tech Hit Mass Production, Headed for iPhone
August 23, 2012 12:31 PM
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"In-cell" technology merges the LCD and touch panel into a single layer, providing some power and space savings
LG Electronics, Inc.'s (
) own Android-based smartphone product line is
finally seeing some legitimate global success
, but the company's biggest success in the smartphone market actually comes from its display business. LG Display, the world's second largest display manufacturer, produces the
"Retina" (IPS type) LCD displays
found in all Apple, Inc. (
) iPads and iPhones, as well as
some Android smartphones
With Apple planning a major product launch
for Sept. 12
, which everyone is assuming will be the announcement of
the iPhone 5
(the sixth generation iPhone), LG just announced that its
latest and greatest display technology
had hit mass production.
LG Display's latest innovation is to bake the capacitive touch sensors directly into the LCD layer; eliminating the need for a dual-layer two part display. In the short term this approach will allow for minor space savings and some power savings, as well. The downside is that the complexity of merging the two layers into a single layer means higher costs and decreased output.
Han Sang-beom, chief executive of LG Display, is
, "We just began mass production and we don't expect any disruption in supplies."
A comparison of in-cell display tech versus standard disply tech. [Image Source: Digitimes]
One thing that may help LG Display from a supply perspective is that overall flat panel demand has been weak this year. Despite that weak demand, LG Display managed to grow its revenue by 14 percent on a year-to-year basis in Q2. But due largely to a $175M USD settlement in
a U.S. price-fixing lawsuit
, LG Display still was hit with a 112.3B won ($99.2M USD) loss in Q2 2012 versus a 21B won ($18.6M USD) profit a year ago. The price fixing lawsuit is actually not the first time LG has been implicated in criminal collusion; LG executives were actually
sentenced to prison time
back in 2009 for a similar conspiracy.
It's critical for LG to continue to grow and execute in the wake of its latest legal setbacks.
There is a small degree of uncertainty whether the new display will be destined for the iPhone 5, or whether Apple will horde stock of the display for a later model. That uncertainty large stems from the fact that rival display manufacturer Sharp Corp. (
) said earlier this month that it would be shipping displays used in a next generation iPhone. Sharp is smaller than LG Display and uses a slightly different technology named "Advanced Super V" displays. Sharp's latest displays are also incorporating in-cell technology.
The new display tech is likely destined for the new iPhone. [Image Source: LG Display]
LG Display's biggest rival is Samsung Display, the
world's largest display manufacturer
and one of the only companies to have solved the riddle of the expensive and difficult AMOLED-based display process. Samsung Electronics Comp., Ltd.'s (
Galaxy S III smartphone
showcases a gorgeous 4.8-inch diagonal display, a major selling point.
The iPhone, long stuck with a small 3.5-inch display, is reportedly
headed for an upgrade
to a 4-inch diagonal unit (30 percent more surface area), in Apple's bid to keep up with Samsung.
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RE: And it begins
8/23/2012 2:24:01 PM
See my reply below. And you did notice in your own link that many of the provisions of the act, changing several key sections of patent law, went into effect September 2011, right?
RE: And it begins
8/23/2012 3:43:05 PM
Hi. I'm a patent attorney. While the AIA may have been signed in to law in 2011, the relevant provision discussed above (First Inventor to File) does NOT go into effect until the USPTO publishes the final rule implementing that law. That rule is slated for for Feb. 16, 2013, as you can see from this image on their website.
First Inventor to File is NOT responsible for any of the current legal fracas...and you, sir, are a troll.
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