Apple is currently the most prominent tablet manufacturer in the world, and it’s been so for several years. Everything started with the original iPad, and the legacy continues with products such as the iPad Air and the iPad Mini 2 / Retina populating a good portion of the tablet market.
With that in mind, we should note that whenever Apple is bringing major changes in its supply chain setup, these changes usually reflect in other parts of the market as well. More recently, Apple and Samsung appear to have struck a deal in order to produce the Retina displays for the iPad Mini 2, and this change in strategy is bound to create some ripples. More details after the break.
Samsung to Start Producing Retina Displays for the iPad Mini 2
Up until now, the Retina displays for the iPad Mini 2 have been produced by LG and Sharp. More so, the panels for the original iPad have been manufactured by Taiwan’s AUO.
Starting off with the latter, AUO will no longer create displays for the original Mini, and it’s pretty much out of the game. Reports suggest that AUO will start focusing on the smartphone market instead, but those are shaky grounds, as the Chinese display makers are very powerful rivals.
As for the iPad Mini 2’s panels, reports have it that Samsung will start producing the Retina displays starting with the second half of the year. While LG and Sharp will continue to manufacture panels for the aforementioned tablet, a good portion of Sharp’s display orders will be taken over by Samsung. We can’t help but notice that, despite their battle in courtrooms all over the world, Samsung and Apple not only continue to do business together, but they also appear to have strengthened their collaboration. It was only last week when it was reported that Samsung and Apple have struck a deal regarding the manufacturing of Apple’s upcoming A8 SoC, despite earlier rumors claiming that Samsung was out of the race, in favor of Taiwan’s TSMC.
This has ramifications of its own, as Sharp is known for its great IGZO panels. If Sharp’s contribution is diminished, then chances are that the Japanese company might have to target other markets with its IGZO displays. Perhaps Sharp will pick up the task of creating IGZO panels for the next iPad Air? We can’t tell, but nonetheless, these changes in Apple’s supply chain will shape the market in a rather interesting way. Stick around for more details as the story unfolds.