Rumors regarding the involvement of Sharp in a long term business for iPhone displays were renewed a few days ago when some assertions appeared in the Japanese Nikkan paper, saying the company would make displays for 2012 models of the iPhone. The design is supposed to use LTPS (low temperature polysilicon) LCDs with polycrystalline silicon used to slim down thanks to having the display driver hardware mounted directly on the glass. Power consumption would be improved thanks to lower required temperature, said AppleInsider, while a richer image would be produced as the aperture ratio would be higher.
The most unused first plant of Sharp, in Kameyama, would be involved, as Sharp recently confirmed it was converting the second Kameyama production capacity to make displays for phones and tablets, but had been quite silent regarding future plans for its first plant.
Sharp did not confirm any details, but the news would be incompatible with certain reports saying Toshiba was beating Sharp to a contract with Apple. However, Apple did several times repeat it had more than one component partner in Japan, as it constantly avoids leaning too much on a single supplier. Apple did not make public anything related to the topic but has mentioned a long-term investment in technology, which did sound for many as meaning mobile displays.
For Apple to keep a clear technical lead, screens could prove to be vital. It was one of the first manufacturers to use “pixel-free” 640×960 screens in its iPhone 4 and has faced only little competition, with Sharp and Apple’s frequent shadower Meizu which used similar resolutions as yet. LTPS is expected to contribute to longer battery life, thinner phones and significantly more attractive screens as well.