Following an enduring period of quality-testing and trial runs, Apple has finally chosen not one, not two, but three suppliers of LCD panels for iPad 3. The winners are LG Display, Samsung Electronics and Sharp who all apparently cut deals to supply LCD panels for the third-generation iPad, per DigiTimes story from this morning. LG Display will act as the leading supplier, while “Sharp stands a chance of overtaking the Korea competitor if it is able to run stable supplies of quality panels”. Surprised that Samsung, a major supplier in the past, fell out of favor a bit? Don’t be.
Apple has apparently been quality-testing iPad 3 displays from Samsung and LG for some time. The company will entrust backlight modules to Taiwan-based Radiant Opto-Electronics, which also provided those units for previous-generation iPads. Radiant will ship their backlight modules to LG Display, Samsung Electronics and Sharp:
Radiant accounts for over half of the backlight units LG Display needs for its iPad 3 panels, while Samsung sources backlight units from the Taiwan maker for all its iPad 3 panels, the sources said. Sharp also uses backlight modules from Radiant for iPad 3 panels, as well as from a Japan-based BLU supplier, the sources added.
The report makes no mention of iPad 3’s resolution. The blogosphere has been calling for four times more pixels compared to the iPad’s 1024-by-768 pixel display. This means an ultra high-resolution 9.7-inch display with a 2048-by-1536 pixel resolution that Apple would want to market as being Retina-capable.
Big media like the Wall Street Journal have jumped on the bandwagon, with the paper running a report earlier this month that Retina Display iPad 3 will ship early 2012, not late 2011 as originally predicted. The report does confirm an earlier story claiming Apple scrapped plans for Retina Display iPad 3 this year due to issues associated with volume production of such a high density screen. The company has been reportedly quality-testing 2048-by-1536 displays for iPad 3 from LG and Samsung. DigiTimes previously asserted Apple had to delay Retina Display iPad 3 due to issues with volume production of such a high density screen.