Second gen iPad OLED screens ‘unlikely’

An analyst has told TechEye that he has major doubts that the second generation of the iPad will use OLED panels.

Analyst director for Meko Ltd Andy Barker, replying to reports that Apple was going to use OLED panels, said that it was unlikely to happen if a second generation iPad was aimed for a release date of next year.

Companies such as Samsung were investing more in OLED production, while it had also reported that Apple had gone into partnership with LG, purchasing a large volume of OLED panels. This was a tactic used to get a better price on them.

But Barker, who had previously worked at Fujitsu for nearly 20 years – a company that had experience with Tablet PCs – said that iPad style devices were the hardest form factor to produce of any PC due to the glass being so close to the motherboard.

“In production terms with the panels, it is very, very difficult to produce because the heat of the motherboard is coming into very close proximity to the glass,” Barker said.

“This causes different technical effects such as a fault called ‘Newton’s rings’ – concentric rings on the panel. Producing a tablet is not like another notebook or another netbook.”

He added, “So changing the technology to something like OLED is a major change, also with service and support issues.”

Barker added that the believed many people were claiming to have knowledge of tablets when in fact they knew “bugger all.”

These reasons meant that a tablet using OLED would be much harder to create than on a device like the iPhone 4G expected to be out in June, which Engadget recently claimed to have some pictures of. Barker believed that Apple wouldn’t take the production risk on an OLED iPad.

Apple has confirmed May 7th as the shipping date for the iPad 3G device, but Barker added that he believed that highly publicised delays to the international launch were not what Apple claimed – high demand.

Barker said, “The delay is supposedly over high demand – it is more than probable it is over service and support issues such as connection, but there is in my experience with all launches of tablets a delay because of service, delay and production issues.”