South Korea’s LG Display will supply the LCD panels for the Apple Pro Display XDR monitor launched at the annual WWDC 2019 earlier this week, according to sources close to the matter on June 5.
The Pro Display XDR is the first monitor brand Apple released since it stopped manufacturing the Thunderbolt display in 2016. Measuring 32 inches wide with a picture resolution of 6K, it’s Apple’s largest retina display ever.
The sources cited product descriptions from Apple on the company website saying that the LCD panels were applied with Oxide TFT and IPS technologies – both of which are deployed by LG.
The display maker currently mass produces 8th generation Oxide TFT LCD panels for Apple from P9 and G8 lines at its Paju plant in Gyeonggi Province, while IPS is widely regarded as an LG trademark technology. “There are very few display makers that can realize 6K picture resolution with Oxide technology,” an LGD executive told The Elec.
Spec-wise, the Pro Display XDR has a full-array backlight with 576 zones of full array local dimming -- more than just about any similarly equipped TV available. This dimming technology contributes to the high 1,000,000:1 contrast ratio specification, which is comparable with OLED panels.
“Local dimming is not a particularly advanced technology, and it’s been around for a few years,” said one industry watcher. “What’s more significant now is the technology for mini and micro LEDs.”
The monitor has a brightness of 1000 nits, and is capable of emitting up to 1600 nits, which is something not possible with current mass production OLED technology.
The price tag for the XDR reads $4,999 (5.9 million won), comparing with the LGE Ultrafine 27-inch 5K monitor that Apple stopped selling priced at $1,299 (1.53 million).
In a special keynote event in October 2016, Apple’s senior vice president Philip Schiller said the Ultrafine monitor goes well with the new Macbook Pro, which used an OLED touch bar for the first time. Samsung Display had supplied the rigid OLED panels.
In September that year, Apple introduced the Watch Series 2, for which Samsung Display began supplying flexible OLED panels. Previously, LG had been the sole supplier. For the latest Apple Watch Series 4, which featured the LTPO TFT display for the first time, LG Display is once again flying solo.
The display maker declined to comment on details related to clients.