updated 11:05 am EDT, Tue April 19, 2011
Apple bulks up supplies to cope with demand
Chimei Innolux is set to become a third supplier of touchpanels for the iPad 2, say two sources contacted by Bloomberg. Parts will allegedly start shipping to Apple next month, joining existing touchpanel streams from TPK and Wintek. Spokespeople for Apple and Chimei have refused to comment, but both companies have a policy of staying quiet on partners in the manufacturing chain.
Chimei is in reality an affiliate of Foxconn, the principal manufacturer of Apple products. It was created last year when Foxconn merged Innolux Display, Chi Mei Optoelectronics and TPO Displays. If confirmed the new deal should cement the relationship between Apple and Foxconn, which has existed for years.
For Apple adding a third touchpanel supplier may be a way of coping with present and future iPad 2 demand. The company is still dealing with heavy retail traffic, and listing two- to three-week shipping times at its online store. A recent Best Buy promotion appears to have fizzled because of low or non-existent stock.