Apple to source iPad Mini screens from LG and AU Optronics
This entry was posted on Saturday, September 1, 2012.
Sharp has been facing some rather testing times of late, with billions of dollars in debt, major losses and consequently, its S&P credit rating has been downgraded to 'junk' status. In all this chaos, its business was bound to suffer, and that's where its dealings with Apple come in to the picture. Owing to Sharp's very public struggles, Apple will be shifting its dependence from the Japanese company to the likes of LG and AU Optronics for screen manufacturing.
"Apple Inc. (AAPL) will use screens from AU Optronics Corp. (2409) and LG Display Co. (034220) for a smaller version of the iPad to be released in October, according to four people familiar with the plans.
TPK Holding Co. (3673) and Yeh Cheng Technology, a subsidiary of Foxconn Technology Group, will supply the lamination coating for the device that will measure 7.85 inches diagonally, said the people, who declined to be identified because the plans haven’t been made public. Current iPads measure 9.7 inches." - Bloomberg
Sharp has been a long term collaborator with Apple for manufacturing the screens of its iPhones and iPads, as its main business is making LCD screens for TVs and portable electronic devices.But it has been having major issues with sorting out its cash flow issues, as it hasn't been doing well enough to pay off borrowing that reportedly exceed a whopping $15 billion. This led to reports of the iPhone 5 being delayed due to Sharp's inability to ramp up its production for the Apple smartphone.
The phone will be a blockbuster yet again in all likelihood, but the last thing Apple would want to contend with would be a supply crunch that drove away prospective buyers and impacted the iPhone 5's sales. Hence, the Cupertino company seems to be making a deliberate effort to avoid any sort of dependence on Sharp for producing its iPad Mini, which will be launched a while after the September 12 launch date of the iPhone.