iPad Air Has More Expensive Display?

Arik Hesseldahl, All Things D:

But, at an estimated combined cost of $133 (about $90 for the display and $43 for the touchscreen parts), it’s a lot more expensive than before, he says. South Korean electronics companies LG Display and Samsung are both thought to be suppliers of the display, he says.

Do I think Apple pays for components at the prices analysts think Apple pays for? Probably not. My guess is Apple pays less than what IHS is reporting.

For the touchscreen bit, there’s a new type of sensor known as a cycle-olefin polymer (COP) sensor that sits underneath the outer layer of Gorilla Glass that users touch. What used to require two layers of glass, Rassweiler says, now requires only one. As a result, the whole assembly measures out to 1.8 millimeters thick, versus 2.23 millimeters on the third-generation model.

Other innovations are involved in the manufacture of the iPad Air’s LCD that make it simpler, less expensive to manufacture, and thinner. For instance South Korea-based Avatec is the only company with large-enough scale to integrate etching and coating in a single production line; this saves manufacturing costs for Apple. The iPad Air also uses a plane-to-line switching (PLS—if anyone is an expert in ITO PLS coating contact me) coated display making it 1mm thinner with almost 100% transparency. According to analysts only Avatec and South Korea-based U.I.Display currently have this technology.

Apple has already figured out simplicity in external industrial design leads to many good things; it’s good that Apple is working just as hard on simplifying the internal design too.