The iPad Pro continues to be the center of a non-stop flow of rumors, with the latest one suggesting the tablet will feature a new nano material in in its touchscreen and be available next year. The new material is described as having “silver nano wire (AgNW) material,” according to Korean language website ETNews.
This new report appears to call into question a report from earlier this month which suggested that Apple wants to use a micro-LED display, which has caused a delay in the release date. One of the reasons for this suggest was Apple’s purchase of micro-LED display maker LuxVue last year.
Apple to cut iPad Pro material costs
The website reports that unnamed sources said Apple aims to replace the ITO-based clear firm it currently uses for the touchscreens on the iPad with the new AgNW material to improve touch capabilities and reduce the cost of materials for the tablet. The new material is described as a coating method that cuts both yield value and production costs. It’s also apparently easy to get the raw materials because it doesn’t use rare metals like indium.
Further, ETNews said Korean touchscreen makers are preparing to “commercialize the products as soon as possible.” The website’s sources stated that on Sunday, Apple requested AgNW touchscreen samples which are ready for mass product from LG Display, Japan Display, Samsung Display and other big display makers.
How AgNW displays work
AgNW is more flexible than the ITO material Apple uses in current iPad models, which is why it is able to optimize touch on a flexible display. According to ETNews, pictures drawn on the rumored 12.9-inch iPad Pro will be clearer and more precise because a display made of AgNW allows for a line’s thickness to be changed based on how much pressure the use is exerting with their finger.
Apple is also said to be trying to include resistive touch in the iPad Pro’s display, which is made “by coating silver wire with constant length and thickness, which can be made by using catalyst onto silver salt, onto a PET film,” according to ETNews. The new material also reportedly won’t lose electric signals even if the display is bent because it is a wire form.
Because AgNW wire is thinner and has a uniform thickness, the ratio of penetration and visibility is better than the material used in previous iPad models. The so-called “haze phenomenon,” which causes a display to become murky in direct sunlight, is reportedly no longer a problem with displays made of AgNW.
Other possibilities for the iPad Pro
ETNews also reports that Apple is also considering using sapphire glass for the display on the iPad Pro. If the company decides to apply sapphire glass to a touchscreen made with AgNW, then the result will be a much thinner and lighter iPad.
The website’s source added that Apple continues to look into new materials to innovate with in its products. Further, if display makers commercialize AgNW next year, the source suggested that Asian smartphone companies will have to speed up their application of new materials.