Those hoping to see a brand new iPad Mini with Retina display under their Christmas tree may be disappointed this holiday season. According to a new rumor, Apple’s partner Sharp is having issues with manufacturing the second-gen iPad Mini display panels, which could result in a delayed launch.
A report from Korean news outlet ETNews claims that Apple is looking elsewhere for additional supply while Sharp struggles. The issue has to do with Sharp’s thin-film transistor implementation, which is reportedly causing burn-in on some of the new iPad Mini’s displays that have already been produced. ETNews’ source said that although Sharp’s LCD burn-in isn’t visible to the naked eye, the panels cannot be used due to Apple’s strict requirements about its Retina display standards.
Burn-in, also known as ghost image or screen burn, is the discoloration of certain areas on an electronic display. This typically occurs when the pixels on a screen are used in a way that the screen isn’t accustomed to. For instance, this could happen to your TV if you leave a movie, TV show or game on pause for a prolonged period of time.
The problem was reportedly caused by a drastic reduction in pixel size. The new 7.9-inch iPad sports a display resolution of 2048 x 1536 pixels, which is said to be about four times clearer than its predecessor’s 1024 x 768-pixel resolution touch screen. Sharp isn’t manufacturing all of the Retina displays for Apple’s new miniature iPads, but it’s responsible for 40 percent of them, the report says. LG has been producing displays for the other 60 percent, and Apple is allegedly in talks with Samsung for additional display production beginning in 2014. The report didn’t specify how long the delay would be if Apple decides to push back the second-gen iPad Mini’s launch to address this issue.
This isn’t the first time we’ve heard of Apple experience issues with ghosting on its Retina display panels. Back in March it was reported that Apple was facing a potential class action lawsuit in San Francisco’s Northern District Court after a disgruntled Retina display MacBook Pro owner accused the company of “tricking” buyers into purchasing a poor-quality screen.