Backlight bleeding? Dead pixels? Yellow tinting? Constrained availability? Apple is determined to put an end to the iPad 2 teething issues, if indicative reports trickling in from Asia are anything to go by. We heard earlier Apple had been considering Everlight as a backlight module provider before Coretronic won that contract. Today we learn through DigiTimes that Chimei Innolux, an affiliate of Apple’s long-time manufacturing partner Foxconn, has begun the development of touch sensors to be shipped to Apple in June (meaning Bloomberg Businesweek was right)
Chimei has recently signed an in-plane switching (IPS) technology licensing agreement with Hitachi, the publication pointed out. IPS is a premium display technology that allows for wide viewing angles on Apple’s tablet. Author Max Wang explains that Apple could even entrust Chimei with the complete service, from panel production to touch components to final assembly, benefiting from Chimei’s component procurement under the Foxconn Group.
Apple is currently sourcing touch sensors from multiple Taiwanese companies and the panels from LG Display and Samsung Electronics. It’s unclear whether Chimei will become an exclusive provider of iPad 2 touch sensors come next month or in addition to existing suppliers. Apple typically sources parts from multiple component makers so the Chimei deal could be signal an imminent manufacturing ramp up (read: improving iPad 2 availability). Also, a June delivery for Chimei’s touch sensors coincides nicely with Apple’s annual developer conference which runs between June 6-10, although that could just as well be a random coincidence.
- Chimeni Innolux (Foxconn, really) said to land iPad 2 touchscreen contract (9to5mac.com)
- Coretronic to become LED backlight provider for Apple’s iPad? (9to5mac.com)
- iSuppli: Foxconn explosion could cost Apple half a million iPads (9to5mac.com)
- Foxconn fire may have affected iPad 2 production, Apple ups shipping times to 1-2 weeks (9to5mac.com)
- iPad apps not very intuitive, major study finds (9to5mac.com)
- Explosion rocks Foxconn’s iPad 2 manufacturing plant (9to5mac.com)