With the already high stakes in the patent wars increasing by the day, the debates over what is true innovation are getting more confusing than ever, especially for regular users. Still, it’s not as difficult as one would think to invent, reinvent and push technology limits, which is easily noticeable by looking at the activity of a handful of companies much less visible in the media than Apple or Samsung.
AU Optronics (AUO) is such an “underground” name that keeps to itself while inventing, innovating and strengthening its position in a very competitive and challenging market. The TFT LCD manufacturer has partnerships with big names like Samsung, Apple, LG, Dell, Acer or NEC, but the demand for its products should certainly increase after the latest Taiwan unveilings.
The most impressive new product showcased by AUO is by far a 4.46-inch mobile phone touch panel display that the Taiwanese-based company claims to have the world’s thinnest bezel. I know it’s hard to believe, but the panel’s borders (both vertical and horizontal) are only 1 mm (0.04 inches) wide.
We don’t know exactly what reliability challenges will this new screen pose for phone manufacturers, but we do know that on paper the LTPS (low-temperature poly-silicon) 720p display looks stunning. The images appear much larger than what you would expect from a panel significantly smaller than the one on the Galaxy S3, for example, so just imagine how cool would an S4 look using this technology.
AUO has been reluctant to talk about any actual upcoming “full-screen” phones, but you can bet the race is on for who can strike a partnership with the display manufacturer and start production first. Sammy, LG, Acer, Apple, your move!
The 4.46-inch display is not the only new innovative AUO product to be unveiled, and we should be pretty excited about the 4.97-inch AHVA (Advanced Hyper-Viewing Angle) panel with 1920 x 1080 pixels resolution, too. There’s also a 4.65-inch AMOLED panel with a 317 ppi pixel density that frankly doesn’t sound as special, and an IGZO (indium gallium zinc oxide) 10-incher with 2560 x 1600 pix res and “increased power efficiency”.
That last panel sounds perfect for the soon to be unveiled Samsung-Google Nexus 10, though we’re probably asking for too much too early.