Is Samsung Building an 11.6-inch Tablet?
Large smartphones may be here to stay, but that latter trend could change very soon.
According to DigiTimes, Sharp will provide 11.6-inch IGZO (Indium Gallium Zinc Oxide) panels to Samsung this year. The panels are expected to be for future notebooks, but considering Intel's (NASDAQ: INTC) new requirement that all next-gen Ultrabooks must contain a touch screen, it seems inevitable that the IGZO displays will end up in a tablet-style device.
Given Samsung's effort to build larger devices (including a 110-inch Ultra HD TV), it is possible that these 11.6-inch panels will also be used in a full-fledged tablet. Not merely a convertible notebook, but an actual tablet designed for Windows Blue or some other touch-friendly platform.
By building an 11-inch tablet, Samsung could set a new standard for the industry. While notebook convertibles and all-in-one desktops are considerably larger, they typically cost more than a high-end tablet. They may also be heavier and a bit too clunky for the average user. With the right materials, an 11-inch tablet could be just as light and thin as a 9- or 10-inch tablet.
In addition to the 11-inch panels for Samsung, Sharp is also said to be working on a large-format Ultra HD TV. While the new television was originally anticipated for a summer release, Sharp is not expected to have the set ready before the end of the year.
This gives Sony (NYSE: SNE), Samsung, LG and other TV manufacturers a fair amount of time to take control of the new Ultra HD market.
Only 63,000 Ultra HD TV sets were shipped in 2012. This was due to a number of factors, starting with the price (Sony's first unit retailed for $24,999) and the limited availability of these televisions. The lack of true 4K content provided another drawback.
In 2013, 4K LCD manufacturers are expected to ship 2.6 million Ultra HD TVs. This seems like an unfathomable increase, but with more manufacturers jumping on board, shipment totals are likely to rise above last year's low numbers.
Louis Bedigian is the Senior Tech Analyst and Features Writer of Benzinga. You can reach him at 248-636-1322 or louis(at)benzingapro(dot)com. Follow him @LouisBedigianBZ
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