Shipments of 9.7-Inch Tablet Panels Drop 81% in January

Shipments of 9.7-Inch Tablet Panels Drop 81% in January

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Shipments of 9.7-inch tablet panels like that of the Apple iPad dropped 81% in January alongside an overall drop for LCD panels, according to IHS iSuppli.

The decline in 9.7-inch panels came after Apple adjusted purchases in January this year, following what indicators suggest had been a large number of panel orders in December 2012. Apple has an agreement with its panel suppliers to buy a certain quantity of panels every year, and the big December movement suggests that Apple had fallen short of ordering during the January to November time frame.

The 9.7-inch size was not unique among tablet panels experiencing a downturn during the period, as other sizes also saw a contraction in monthly shipments. The 8.9-inch, used in the Amazon Kindle Fire HD, retreated by an even larger 92 percent. Overall, tablet shipments in January fell 26 percent to 15.23 million units, down from 20.50 million a month earlier.

An exception to the general slump in tablet panels was the 7.9-inch category used by the iPad mini. It's said that Apple's demand for the smaller panel rose to 5.42 million units, up 14% from 4.75 million units.

Global shipments of large sized LCD panels in January reached 60.48 million units, down 20% from December but 14% higher than January 2012.

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Shipments of 9.7-Inch Tablet Panels Drop 81% in January
Keith Martin - March 25, 2013 at 9:33am
The current bezel size in the full-size iPad is designed for function as well as appearance. In this size of device, having a good 'grip' area is both comfortable and practical. Remember, this is not just a device that's propped up and looked at. Okay, some third-party cases make it easier to hold an iPad without needing the thumb grip on the front bezel, but Apple just doesn't make things that rely on additional products for optimal use. Higher ppi would be interesting from a technical point, but is it necessary or even possible? The Retina Display is already at or past the threshold where most people can make out pixels, so what would be the gain? It would also require an insanely high level of pixels to make a clean, developer-friendly jump in resolution. The Retina Display went from 1024x768 pixels to 2048x1536 pixels, a precise doubling of the pixel count in both dimensions. This wasn't arbitrary – it meant that existing apps 'just worked' without needing any changes, and updating for Retina support only needed higher-resolution graphic assets. (Incidentally, that's one of the numerous sensible reasons Apple didn't go for widescreen iPad designs.) Making a similar doubling-style jump in resolution would mean a pixel count higher than the even largest desktop monitors; 4096x3072 pixels. That would demand a corresponding increase in graphics chipset power and memory just to maintain current perceived performance, and this would be a massive heat generator and power drain. Given that the current iPads are roughly two-thirds battery in order to give the 10-hour battery life, there's not really any way Apple could make such changes with today's power technology. Even if it wanted to.
tommy - March 20, 2013 at 4:17pm
Forget 9.7 inches Let's do 9.75 inches display for smaller bezel.
Jedediah Johnson - March 21, 2013 at 6:59am
Why would they have to make the screen .05" bigger just to make the bezel smaller or thinner. Why not keep the same 9.7" and just make the bezel/device smaller. I bet the cut in production and supply of the current LCDs is do to Apple possibly using a new type of display in the new upcoming iPads. More than likely it will be a IGZO display made by Sharp. Hopefully it has better colors, (not that the current display has bad colors), produces less heat, requires less power so it makes battery life better, and maybe a higher ppi. Along with a new style, more along the lines of the iPad mini. In my opinion it would be the best looking tablet on the market.