Apple could cut a deal with Sharp to equip tech with IGZO displays

Sharp IGZO
IGZO facto

The rumor mill has been attempting to connect the dots between an Apple HDTV and Sharp's IGZO display panels for more than a year, but the real deal could be happening elsewhere in Cupertino's product line.

Reports today suggest Apple is in "serious talks" with Sharp for a big shift into the company's indium gallium zinc oxide (IGZO) display panels beginning in 2014.

According to a report from Korea IT News (via Patently Apple), Sharp and LG Display are gearing up to increase production of IGZO panels, which are capable of lowering energy consumption for devices that use them.

But while most of the Apple-related chatter between the three companies has focused on a mythical television set, the fruity firm may be laying the groundwork for a bigger shift across existing product lines.

Wild about IGZO

The latest report claimed Apple will implement IGZO display panels into both the iPad line as well as a MacBook refresh coming in the first half of next year.

Sharp's IGZO semi-conductor is used in thin film transistors (TFTs) capable of controlling substances such as glass, and are capable of moving electrons up to 10 times faster than existing amorphous silicon.

For Apple's mobile and notebook product lines, adopting IGZO would allow existing battery technology to last even longer than it does today, thanks to the lower power consumption of the display panel itself.

LG Display is said to be upgrading its current OLED and LCD production lines to accommodate IGZO panels, but none of the companies have yet confirmed that talks are actually taking place.