Power struggles amid display manufacturers, as E Ink Holdings (EIH) apparently suspends its fringe-field switching (FFS) LCD panel production agreement with LG Display and instead shifts manufacture to rival CPT. FFS displays are a key rival to the IPS panels that LG Display and others supply Apple for the iPad, promising wide viewing angles among other benefits. In addition to ending the FFS production agreement, EIH will buy back bonds in its Hydis display subsidiary, DigiTimes reports, which LG Display had bought as part of its original agreement back in January 2010.
EIH invested NT$1.5bn ($49m) in CPT (Chunghwa Picture Tubes) in July this year, in an attempt to secure production for its FFS displays. Panels using the technology were at one point tipped for inclusion in the iPad 3, with an analyst suggesting back in February that Apple would use an FFS Retina Display for the third-gen tablet. However, more recently it has been indicated that Apple will likely use AH-IPS panels produced by Samsung, Sharp and LG Display.
It’s unclear how the shifting allegiances will impact LG Display’s use of FFS technology, though the indication is that the company will no longer be able to manufacture such displays since Hydis will continue to hold the patents. FFS screens are used in Kobo’s new Vox tablet/ereader, though it’s unknown who actually provides Kobo with the 7-inch panels themselves.