Unlikely scenario: Analyst says Apple HDTV to be called ‘iPanel’; begins production in May

Jefferies & Co.’s Peter Misek has been one of the most outspoken analysts about Apple’s rumored HDTV product. He first said in November that Sharp was preparing its production lines for the “iTV” and then last month claimed production of up to 5 million units could begin by May with a product launch by Q4 2012. In this morning’s note to clients (via Barron’s), Misek once again claimed television components have begun shipping to Apple’s panel suppliers in Asia and upped his price target to $800 based on “increased confidence” that Apple will indeed launch the product this year. He is also now claiming the product will be dubbed “iPanel.”

Misek said on a recent trip to Asia he saw “polarized films, filters and IGZO components” headed to Apple suppliers in small quantities. Another reason for Misek’s increased confidence is the announcement that Hon Hai Precision will buy a 10 percent stake in Sharp Display. He explained:

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Apple turns to Samsung amid iPad 2 display issues with LG

Digitimes is reporting Apple has turned to manufacturers other than LG Display (specifically Samsung and Chimei Innolux) due to issues with the 9.7-inch panel they’ve been producing for the iPad 2. Apparently LGD was not only unable to meet its July orders by approximately 1 million units, but also failed to meet Apple’s requirements in impact tests.

Due to the manufacturing issues with LGD, Digitimes reports they have now turned to alternate supplier (and rivals in the tablet market) Samsung. However, this may be only a temporary solution to the supply problems, as the report is quick to point out Samsung is directly competing with the iPad 2 with their Galaxy Tab 10.1 (the same device Apple just received a preliminary injunction for to halt sales in the EU).

According to the report:

“Samsung’s Galaxy Tab has head-on competition with the Apple iPad 2 in the end market. This would prevent Apple from sourcing more panels from Samsung.”

This might be an indication that Apple is focused on transitioning away from Android-related manufactures, if for no other reason, simply to avoid having to rely on their competition to supply vital components. Doesn’t look like LG’s  $500 million display deal with Apple will be getting extended anytime soon, and a recent lawsuit launched against Apple (linked back to LG) certainly doesn’t help either.
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