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Wednesday, March 14, 2012
Speculation Over iPad's Panel Provider Continues

The provider of the new iPad's impressive display panel has puzzled industry insiders and researchers, with LG, Samsung and Sharp to remain silent.

Reuters today reported that LG Display is supplying touch-screen panels for Apple's new iPad, citing a "source close to the matter".

Bloomberg reported earlier that LG's rival Samsung was the sole supplier for the new iPad after LG and Japan's Sharp "failed to meet the U.S. company's quality requirements," quoting an analyst from research firm iSuppli.

Both LG Display and Samsung have supplied panels for the previous iPad models.

However, since the relationship between Apple and Samsung isn't great these days, Apple could have wanted to get shipments elsewhere as well.

Apple's latest iPad, which was launched last week and will hit store shelves on March 16, sports a crisper 'Retina' display, more powerful chip, better camera and faster network speed.

The display specifications on the new iPad are very demanding in terms of the very high resolution, and achieving this high resolution without compromising on the power consumption and brightness and maintaining Apple?s quality standards are very challenging.

According to Charles Annis, Vice President, Manufacturing Research for DisplaySearch, iPad's display has implemented the SHA (Super High Aperture) pixel design. SHA technology was pioneered by Sharp and JSR many years ago. Initially adoption was slow due to added process complexity, increased costs and yield challenges. However, as super high resolution displays for mobile applications have increased the importance of high transmission and low power consumption, SHA has now become a critical technology for manufacturing high quality LCDs.

In any case, it will be interesting to see if consumers get excited about the higher image quality on the new iPad. If so, it could be difficult for Apple to secure an adequate supply of panels, given the manufacturing challenges.

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