iPhone 5 & iPad 2: New component mystery

Here at OSM we’ve been following all the speculation on next-generation Apple devices, the upcoming iPhone 5 and iPad 2. Among recent posts was a rumor roundup on the iPhone 5, the possibility of the iPad 2 having a higher resolution display and also stories about both of the new devices having a new improved chip.

We’ve now seen an interesting article over on Engadget by Nilay Patel, about a mystery component that Apple is investing a huge amount of money in. News that came out at an Apple quarterly financial sales call for 2011 featured acting CEO Tim Cook, and CFO Peter Oppenheimer with the pair talking about a $3.9 billion deal to obtain a ‘strategic component’ for its devices involving 3 suppliers.

This component for now remains a mystery but referring to the time that Apple invested in iPod flash memory Cook said, “We think that was an absolutely fantastic use of Apple’s cash, and we constantly look for more of these, and so in the past several quarters we’ve identified another area… these payments consist of both prepayments and capital for processes and tooling, and similar to the flash agreement, they’re focused in an area that we think is very strategic.” In the last quarter Apple has already spent $650 million on the unidentified component and in the next quarter there are plan to pay out another $1.05 billion on it.

Of course, what this component is for is still conjecture for most of us but Engadget suggests a good bet could be high-density displays for both the iPad and iPhone and the names of Toshiba and Sharp have also been thrown into the speculative arena. Of course it could be too soon to make it into the next iPhone and iPad but at the moment that’s anyone’s guess. Meanwhile Sindre Lia over on Infosync reports on Steve Jobs speaking at a previous quarterly earnings call last year and hinting at an iPad Pro 4G model and wonders if the next iPad and iPhone might join existing versions rather than replace them.

Daniel Eran Dilger over on Apple Insider also reports on the component investment and also wonders if it might be for a very high resolution display for the iPad 2. We’re still intrigued about the mystery component that Apple is so heavily investing in and would like to hear your ideas on what it could be so why not send us your comments if you have any thoughts on this.

  • Alexander Dixon

    How about a Pixel Qi-like display (like the Notion Ink Adam) so that the screen can be used in sunlight and use less power?

  • Alexander Dixon

    How about a Pixel Qi-like display (like the Notion Ink Adam) so the screen can be used in sunlight and consume less power?