It's estimated that Apple will purchase 13.6 million notebook panels in 2017, that's fewer than the 16.2 million it purchased in 2016. LG will likely remain Apple's largest supplier.
IHS believes that Apple will stop production of the 11.6-inch MacBook Air this year and so the number of MacBook Air panels it purchases will reportedly decrease from 6 million to 2.7 million as there is considerable 13.3-inch inventory.
Currently, Apple uses a-Si TFT-LCD panels for the MacBook Pro but that will purportedly change very soon.
Apple may continue to procure a-Si TFT-LCD panels for the MacBook Pro until the end of the first quarter of 2017 and then shift to IGZO TFT-LCD panels. In addition to Samsung Display, Sharp will begin supplying IGZO TFT-LCD panels to Apple as soon as mid-2017. Procurement for the MacBook Pro will increase from 8.8 million units in 2016 to 9.7 million units in 2017.
IGZO panels use less power, have improved touch sensitivity, and increased pixel density. DisplayMate President Raymond Soneira told MacRumors that IGZO can also result in "significantly higher brightness," but the material costs "considerably more" to manufacture.
"Sometimes IGZO is simply referred to as Metal Oxide," says Soneria. "The higher the PPI and the wider the Color Gamut (like DCI-P3 for the new MacBook Pro) the greater the benefits of IGZO over a-Si, particularly for LCDs."
Notably, IGZO displays can be made smaller, perhaps allowing for a thinner MacBook Pro; however, Apple would have to balance this with battery life concerns, especially following battery issues with the new MacBook Pro.
IGZO displays have been rumored for the MacBook Pro in the past; however, those rumors never materialized. Please follow iClarified on Twitter, Facebook, Google+, or RSS for updates.