News out of Asia claims that Samsung Electronics will apply a metal mesh touch screen panel to their next generation Galaxy tablet in 2014. Samsung's strategy is to reinforce its cost competitiveness in the tablet space by replacing indium tin oxide (ITO) with a new metal mesh made of silver and copper materials. In the long run, the new metal mesh based displays will be used to develop more advanced flexible displays that will utilize next generation digitizer-less pen recognition technology. The question that first comes to mind is: will Apple be interested in using these next generation displays in future iDevices?
According to this new report, the Advanced Development Team of the Wireless Business Division at Samsung Electronics is now testing the new displays for reliability and hopes to bring this new display to market in the second half of 2014, likely Q4.
Apple is currently using Samsung as a key supplier for Apple's Retina displays. Being able to save 15% or more on displays is likely to interest Apple once Samsung is able to secure volume production.
Secondly, Apple has a long list of next generation iPen patents on hand and the new metal mesh technology will simplify the technology to make electronic pens more viable. Samsung's next generation metal mesh technology greatly reduces the space between touch-centric grid lines that will negate the need for a digitizer. It may also allow for finer text capabilities that will produce results closer to an actual ink pen.
At this point in time it's unknown when Samsung will make these displays available to customers or if Apple will even consider it. Yet the advantages in cost savings alone could be tempting for Apple down the road. For more on this development, see our full Patent Bolt report.