Apple May Turn to Samsung for Second-Gen iPad mini Displays as it Drops AU Optronics
The longtime Apple supplier, AU Optronics, won’t be providing low-power LCD screens for Apple’s second-generation iPad mini due to production issues according to a new report. AUO’s inability to make the cut has industry insiders wondering whether Apple will turn to Samsung to meet the lost production, based on speculation from ETNews
LCDs for the current iPad mini have been supplied by AUO, LG Display and Sharp. The recent report suggests that Sharp is also likely to remain a supplier for the next iPad mini, because it’s the only supplier that can provide low-power oxide semiconductor LCD panels. According to the report:
"Apple plans to apply oxide semiconductor LCD to iPad mini 2 despite the initial low production yield, because it gives the advantage of saving electricity. Last year, AUO started to supply panels to Apple thanks to its price competitiveness. However, it could not convince Apple, as it failed to meet the supply deadlines or to develop an LCD with high penetration rate."
Apple might have felt comfortable in allegedly dropping AUO as an LCD supplier since the company’s relationship with Samsung Display has improved. The recent report claims that Samsung Display has already developed an LCD sample for Apple and the company may be able to secure a significant number of orders. The details also seem to align with a rumor from last month which claims that Samsung would be the key supplier of 7.9-inch displays for Apple’s next iPad mini. There has been considerable confusion as to whether the screens will be high-resolution Retina displays but the recent report didn’t offer any further insight.
As many of you already know both Apple and Samsung are currently engaged in a series of lawsuits in which each has accused the other of patent infringement. In spite of their legal issues, relations between Apple and Samsung Display have improved. It’s currently expected that Samsung will remain a supplier for Apple’s devices for the foreseeable future.