Chimei Innolux Stories September 7, 2012

Apple’s new products will keep the display supply chain busy for the rest of 2012

DisplaySearch analyst David Hsieh noted today that Apple’s upcoming product launches and refreshes will keep the LCD supply chain in Asia very occupied during the remainder of 2012.

The DisplaySearch blog explained:

The LCD supply chain (including panel makers, component suppliers, subcontract manufacturing companies) has started to gear up for Apple: in the second half of 2012, Apple will launch three new products (a first): iPhone 5, iPad Mini and New iPad refresh model. These mobile devices will require displays with high resolution, slim form factor, light weight and low power consumption. And certainly, these features are keeping the LCD supply chain very busy.

DisplaySearch’s estimates of near-term production for these Apple products are shown in the table (above). The LCD supply chain companies involved in the Apple new products include Corning, Japan Display, LG Display, Sharp, AUO, Chimei Innolux, Samsung, Radiant, Coretronic, TPK, Wintek as well as Foxconn.

Apple’s business appeals to the LCD supply chain for various reasons related to production stability, but the displays are very technologically specific and present many challenges. As Hsieh further noted, Apple requires light and slim displays with high resolution, minimal power consumption, maximum color saturation, etc.:

…the iPhone 5: while not disclosed publicly yet, many believe the panel size will be increased to 4.0” from 3.5” in the iPhone 4S, while the resolution remains at 326 ppi. The technology breakthrough will be the in-cell touch sensor integration, which presents a big challenge for LCD suppliers to maintain good yield rates.

The iPad mini is expected to launch in Q4’12 as well. Compared to the iPad, the smaller 7.85” screen is targeting the segment of the market currently addressed by Amazon, Samsung, and Google. The ultra slim form factor and low power consumption LCD is the key, as well as the film type projective capacitance touch panel.

Due to these requirements, Apple has been investing in Asia’s LCD supply chain, according to Hsieh, specifically giving down payments to LCD panel makers for “strategic supply agreements.” Apple’s business is a “dual-edged blade,” but suppliers cannot ignore a company with such engaging product launches.

Get the full report at DisplaySearch.

Chimei Innolux Stories April 5, 2012

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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Chimei Innolux Stories August 10, 2011

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. expand full story

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