Apple is preparing to make a major change to the material used to create the displays used in the company’s MacBook Pro computers. The Cupertino company could be ready to adopt indium gallium zinc oxide (IGZO) displays before the end of 2017.
IGZO displays have been around for a few years now — Sharp was the first manufacturer to begin production of LCD panels using the technology back in 2012. Apple is thought to have used the material for the original iPad Air in November 2013. It’s long been speculated that the company would utilize IGZO in its laptops, but these rumors never came to fruition.
However, there’s now word that both Sharp and Samsung could begin supplying IGZO displays to Apple as soon as the second quarter of 2017, according to a report from Mac Rumors. The company currently uses amorphous silicon panels for its MacBook Pro, but that’s apparently set to change.
IGZO is better at conducting electricity than previous technologies and is more transparent, meaning that the system’s backlight doesn’t have to work as hard to deliver a bright, clear image. As a result, IGZO panels require less power to display a picture that’s as good, if not better, than the competition.
Given that Apple just committed to a major refresh of its MacBook Pro last year, it’s difficult to predict how the new IGZO display will be implemented. Its possible that the first revision of the laptop could simply feature an upgraded screen, without making any big changes to the overall design that debuted in 2016.
That said, it could well be that Apple has bigger plans for the MacBook Pro this year. If the company plans to field a new version of the MacBook Pro rather than an incremental update, an IGZO display could be an attractive selling point.