Apple COO Cook alludes to display investment? | iLounge News

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Apple COO Cook alludes to display investment?

During Apple’s first-quarter 2011 financial results conference call today, Apple COO Tim Cook made several statements that suggest the company sees display technology as a potential component investment for the future. When asked about Apple’s long-term investments on components, Cook mentioned the company’s prior $1 billion flash memory investment as something that was important across the product line, and added that the company has identified a similarly important area in recent quarters. Cook said that the company has come into pre-payment agreements in this new area for parts, equipment, and tooling in hopes of achieving a specific competitive advantage. While Cook didn’t directly mention it, separate reports from the same week in December claimed that Apple was expected to supply a portion of the investments required for a new Toshiba LCD plant and Sharp LCD production line, respectively. Both reports specifically mentioned that as a result of Apple’s investment, the new factory and new production line were expected to produce displays primarily for the Cupertino-based company. Given Apple’s reliance on touchscreen technology in its iOS devices, it seems likely that these were the agreements to which Cook was referring during the call.

Update: The investment is worth $3.9 billion dollars over two years, and involves three vendors. Apple made pre-payments of $650 million during the last quarter, and expects to make $1.05 billion in payments during the March quarter.

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Comments

1

This increases the likelihood of a Retina Display iPad.
Either that or it’s an off-hand comment that may have the same effect as less scrupulous technology companies vapourware announcements.

Posted by Dan Woods on January 19, 2011 at 12:13 AM (CST)

2

I’d be surprised to see a true “retina” classed iPad any time soon (<75 um dot pitch on a 9.7” screen would translate to something akin to 2640x1980), but what they’re doing here, if true, is the sort of move that destroys their competition. They ended iRiver, Creative, and Rio, either literally or figuratively, with the analogous investment in Flash manufacturing back in 2005. It took Sandisk, who literally gets their Flash memory at cost - to take *any* significant wind from Apple’s sails in the U.S. (and that’s not saying much since they’ve been content to largely chase the “I don’t want to pay for an iPod” demographic).

When you see all these Android tablets out there boasting of “HD video processing” while displaying on a 1024x600 display, such a move as even the rumored 2048x1536 second gen iPad would absolutely destroy any chance of these competitors - the ones out now and, likely, all the ones coming to market for the entire next cycle - of doing more than, if they’re lucky, turning a profit, but probably not even that.

Posted by Code Monkey in Midstate New York on January 19, 2011 at 9:57 AM (CST)

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