Apple iPad Pro to ship next year with silver nanowire touch panel, sapphire glass?

Apple iPad Pro to ship next year with silver nanowire touch panel, sapphire glass?
The iPad front has been relatively quiet since the iPad Air 2 and iPad Mini 3 launched to a warm reception and a sluggish tablet market. The eventual iPad Pro, however, has been shaping itself into a handsome news topic, as evidence of its existence has been getting more and more substantial. Today, we get to learn that that Apple has been talking to its display suppliers — LG, JDI, and Samsung among others — about mass-producing AgNW-coated touch panels for the iPad Pro's display. AgNW stands for silver nano wire, a material for creating transparent conductive layers from single crystals of silver nano wires.

The technology is supposed to succeed the industry-standard indium tin oxide coating, offering better sensitivity and compatibility with the flexible displays that are poised to take over the future. AgNW readily allows for multiple pressure sensitivity levels too, which must jibe well with Apple's Force Touch exploits. After embedding the technology in the Apple Watch, and the new Macbook's touch pad, the iPhone and iPad could very well become its next frontiers.

Moreover, AgNW will allow for decreased production costs and better profit margins for manufacturers, as the technology doesn't utilise indium, which is a rare metal that's going extinct. It is estimated that there are only 12 years of natural indium supplies left, which means the LCD display manufacturing industry (which uses indium tin oxide for LCD screens' transparent electrodes, and is the world's largest ITO consumer) is in need of an alternative. Unless OLED completely takes over LCD, that alternative seems to be silver.

Silver, however, won't be the only special material gracing the iPad Pro's rumored 12-inch display. Reportedly, Apple still hasn't given up on sapphire glass, despite last year's million-dollar production fiasco, and is looking into adorning the iPad Pro with a sapphire panel. We'll have to see how that works out, as well as whether the gargantuan tablet will be the first product to ship with a silver nano wire screen. As Apple is a top customer to display suppliers, it is entitled to the latest and greatest technology on disposal before smaller competitors can get their hands on it, so this prediction has a perfectly good chance to come true.

The industry sources spinning the whole AnGW rumor web say the iPad Pro will be announced next year, which makes a holiday iPad-related keynote an unlikely event. But we will get new iPhones this year, which is always something to look up to!

via G For Games

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37 Comments

36. RickShort

Posts: 1; Member since: May 13, 2015

Full Disclosure: I am Rick Short, the director of marketing communications at the Indium Corporation. With regard to an entire paragraph dedicated to the demise of indium, this is entirely incorrect. Indium remains abundant. I'd like to supply third-party information to refute this claim: An article from FORBES really says it all (onforb.es/1HNYZB4). Key excerpts include: • "Indium’s abundance in the continental crust is estimated to be approximately 0.05 part per million.’ That is about 50 times the abundance of tellurium ... and that therefore means that we have some 6 billion tonnes of indium to play with. And given that global usage of newly mined indium is currently about 600 tonnes per year….." • … we’re not facing a hard ecological or environmental constraint on our usage of indium. ... We’re simply not going to run out. Not in any timescale that we actually care about anyway." • "Indium’s abundance in the continental crust is estimated to be approximately 0.05 part per million.’ That is about 50 times the abundance of tellurium which we looked at here and that therefore means that we have some 6 billion tonnes of indium to play with. And given that global usage of newly mined indium is currently about 600 tonnes per year….." Then, I suggest your readers review the USGS' latest indium factsheet: on.doi.gov/1Fe3pRn Whether or not future devices do, in fact, contain indium will be a matter of performance and not availability - because indium remains abundant.

37. leeTronix

Posts: 33; Member since: Apr 09, 2015

Well said Rick. It is nice to see you or your organization making sure media companies have the right facts.

30. 7thspaceman

Posts: 1597; Member since: Feb 14, 2011

FOLKS Ipads are great tablets for tablet touch screen Apps only People. I think this will be a great Ipad and will sell well in the market place. it could use a built in kickstand though because no matter how light a Tablet is your upper shoulder muscle and the connecting upper arm muscle gets tired of holding up the lower arm and any tablet a person is holding. that's why Surface 3 and Surface Pro's and other tablets have them. as for Apple making a MAC PC OSX Tablet The Apple ECO system folks however will hail it as great and it will work better with their Apple devices and will be a plus for them. Apple is a touch screen Apps only tablet Company at least so far it is unless they make an OSX Tablet because OSX programs are mouse and keyboard programs an OSX tablet must become a Hybrid like Windows tablets are because your fingers will be too big for the onscreen OSX program items. The business world uses Windows Desktop and now uses a lot more Windows tablets that will even increase more so when Windows 10 debuts this Summer. full Windows tablets are best for the Windows PC/Server ECO system because they can run Millions of desktop Business , Educational, And Entertainment, PC games and specialty programs written over the years for Desktop Computers however they will mostly be Hybrid mouse and keyboard devices .

29. leeTronix

Posts: 33; Member since: Apr 09, 2015

I think apple will soon be on the decline as people have already had it with their stupid high madness prices and the fact the keep pretending they invented everything. They should be called appl bling as I think they are more of a fashion statement for tech not a tech business. Ipad, ipad 2,3,4, ipad air, air2 and the nonsense of more of the same continues. They are one trick pony tricking the masses that they actually make a range of different devices when they actually don't. Then they charge you insane prices from 16gb-128gb. Who in there right mind would waste their money on a safari browser that is not compatible with a vast majority of sites and a device that is so hard to even save a document on and work on as a mainstream device. Beats me. For looking on a screen and a million silly apps then this is a great device, for business it is pointless, although in some cases like medical companies or hospitals I agree it is a useful tool. On a personal note I think the ipad 2 was the best but that is just my personal view. Finally running a phone IOS instead of an OS function when they market the device as the every day go to device is stupid well is clever marketing hype maybe, and the IOS toyish looks say what apple bling is about. I wish apple went back to how they first were back in the 80s when they did really innovate and not copy / steal other ideas and make out they invented everything, Rant over :)

33. Martin_Cooper

Posts: 1774; Member since: Jul 30, 2013

1. You contradict your own opinion, Its useless for business but its very usefull for hospitals? 2. Its extremely useful for various businesses actually and has been adopted by half of the planet as the ideal tablet. 3. Specs mean s**t if thats your reasoning for going android tablets. 4. Most of android apps/games are phone optimized and are just blown up apps for tablet that some times look weird or bad. 5. App support even today goes to apple ecosystem 6. Numerous businesses use ipads for presentations, or keeping notes, no need to save documents in the western world when you have cloud and unlimited data contracts. 7. An 80 year old can pick up an ipad and learn in few hours everything it can offer, same for a 5 year old. Not the same easy of use for android. And thats a huge plus. 8. The pricing for ipads is actually quite good, yes the 64g and other versions get pricer but still you have the cloud and you buy a tablet that will work flawlessly for years, with numerous updates, something that cant be said for any android tablet which slows down as soon as you fill it up with apps and games. 9. Many aviation companies have ipads for the pilots instead of the usual papers. Your business point still makes no sense unless you mean only some of the office people who actually need to use a proper pc or laptop for various reasons and specific apps for windows. 10. The accessories eco system is so amazing you have anything you can imagine, with 550 android tablets a month that come out its impossible for any company to keep up with them and making accessories. 11. An ipad with an external keyboard is a very nice device for most of uses besides of course the very specific ones that need windows.

35. leeTronix

Posts: 33; Member since: Apr 09, 2015

I agree with some of your points but I did not contradict myself please re-read and I agree my comments maybe a tad sarcastifc! I use all types of devices because I refuse to be ripped off and held to ransom by any manufacturer. For clarity no I do not like the ipad not because it is an apple product but what apple do not do or could do with the product is more to the point. That said I hope you continue to enjoy using your ipad.

28. xondk

Posts: 1904; Member since: Mar 25, 2014

I...don't get it, using less extreme rare materials, good. Touting it as increased sensitivity? seems absolutely pointless. Use less expensive material, produce cheaper products, though in apple's case, and this is not a jab, it will likely mean an increase in price.

24. gaming64 unregistered

iPad Pro compatible with Bluetooth keyboard, Hybrid OS X and iOS(wish it was skeumorphism design) ability to play both Mac OS and iPad games, then you'll have me.

16. ikenvape

Posts: 310; Member since: May 28, 2014

What makes you his think Apple will use sapphire glass on a giant iPad pro when the cost was too great for them to offer it on the iPhone 6? Yes their going to use it for 12 inch plus panels. Click baiting

15. ikenvape

Posts: 310; Member since: May 28, 2014

What makes you his think Apple will use sapphire glass on a giant iPad pro when the cost was too great for them to offer it on the iPhone 6? Yes their going to use it for 12 inch plus panels. Clock baiting

17. Saioofi

Posts: 348; Member since: May 23, 2014

The thing with sapphire is although its unscratchable, it's very brittle

11. TheGunnyPT

Posts: 252; Member since: Feb 12, 2015

There goes my hope of a Surface Pro but with OSX and a waccom pen...

23. gaming64 unregistered

Never lose hope.

32. Martin_Cooper

Posts: 1774; Member since: Jul 30, 2013

No way, if Apple did put OSX with touch optimization on an ipad it would cannibalize the sales of its very very successful macbook line. iPads are slowly dying but cannibalizing macbooks isn't the answer.

5. seret6

Posts: 279; Member since: Aug 14, 2013

I want to make myself clear that i have no love for any particular brand, im more interested in discovering best product that any brand can offer And i totally agree that ipad thingy can never match funtionality of a laptop as well

14. Martin_Cooper

Posts: 1774; Member since: Jul 30, 2013

Same can be said for laptops when compared to tablets. Each has its own purpose. I would take any day a nice desktop PC and a tablet than a laptop.

22. 87186

Posts: 312; Member since: Aug 01, 2014

but the surface can. seems as though you're not being that objective in your assessment.

4. seret6

Posts: 279; Member since: Aug 14, 2013

Even as i much i hate and avoid using apple products, i have never found a tablet better than Ipads in any aspect except micro sd slot I personally dont think any company can make a truly useful product like ipad Since i constantly use latest androids from samsung, htc side by side with latest iphone, im in a better position to know what to expect from a useful and productive tablet Ur critique and feedback is welcomed

12. UglyFrank

Posts: 2200; Member since: Jan 23, 2014

If Samsung Tablet had better processors they would be much better. But until them I'm stuck with an iPad and an S5

13. Martin_Cooper

Posts: 1774; Member since: Jul 30, 2013

Nothing to do with processors or ram or specs, ipads are no1 cause of the app/games and accessories support. You can buy an ipad today and find any kind of accessory for years, Samsung puts out new tablets and sizes all the time,kinda impossible for companies to keep up supporting with accessories 250 different samsung models. Ecosystem + accessories + ease of use.

19. TechKnowledge

Posts: 55; Member since: May 05, 2013

Try a Surface 3 or Pro 3

21. 87186

Posts: 312; Member since: Aug 01, 2014

then you've yet to use a surface pro 3 or surface 3. no other tablet on the market comes close to the design or power, especially in the pro edition.

34. Slaughter

Posts: 27; Member since: Apr 29, 2015

I personally own a Galaxy note 10.1 2014. I'm not a big fan of tablette, since i'm always on my phone... I bought this tablet for university (note and schema) and it's just great, the S pen allow me to take my notes by hand on Word, I'm abble to reproduce schema easily. I can split the screen and take notes with my anatomy schema side by side. Usefull features, I don't know if you can do that on an ipad.

1. Saioofi

Posts: 348; Member since: May 23, 2014

This thing will be a total failure of it runs iOS

2. seret6

Posts: 279; Member since: Aug 14, 2013

I personally hate over peicing staretegy of apple and also lack of major features in their iphones Yet your comment is the MOST LUDICROUS AND RIDICULOUS thing i have ever read, do you even know about the cult following of apple, will those fans ever let ipad pro fail?

6. seret6

Posts: 279; Member since: Aug 14, 2013

Even as i much i hate and avoid using apple products, i have never found a tablet better than Ipads in any aspect except micro sd slot I personally dont think any company can make a truly useful product like ipad Since i constantly use latest androids from samsung, htc side by side with latest iphone, im in a better position to know what to expect from a useful and productive tablet Ur critique and feedback is welcomed

7. seret6

Posts: 279; Member since: Aug 14, 2013

I want to make myself clear that i have no love for any particular brand, im more interested in discovering best product that any brand can offer And i totally agree that ipad thingy can never match funtionality of a laptop as well

8. Saioofi

Posts: 348; Member since: May 23, 2014

Chill. I meant it they should use Mac OS instead of iOS

9. bucky

Posts: 3797; Member since: Sep 30, 2009

I agree with you for sure. I think it would need mac os otherwise no point in it-especially if you already have airplay for larger screens.

20. joey_sfb

Posts: 6794; Member since: Mar 29, 2012

You forgot about the pen function. Apple is emulating this ->http://www.wacom.com/en-us/products/pen-displays/cintiq-13-hd

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