When even DigiTimes themselves are casting doubt onto their own rumor reports, you have to suspect something might not be right in the speculation chain. According to the latest Taipei mutterings, Apple is looking at 5.6-inch and 7-inch OLED panels for second-gen iPads, together with working with OEMs on a tweaked version of the existing 9.7-inch LCD model. As for a timescale, component manufacturers are apparently saying orders have been placed for Q4 2010.
The sources also tip Compal as the likely manufacturing partner. The smaller iPads would, it’s suggested, be focused on ereading duties rather than all-round multimedia like the current tablet. Where, exactly, the iPod touch – also expected to be refreshed later in 2010 – would fit in remains to be seen.
Meanwhile, OLED supplies are currently far from plentiful, with companies like HTC having to look to LCD screens in order to build enough smartphones to satisfy their order-books. Samsung are yet to make their Super AMOLED panels available to any other firm, and the price difference for a larger screen is significant. This certainly isn’t the first time we’ve heard OLED connected with the iPad, and it’s unlikely to be the last, but right now the market doesn’t seem quite ready.