updated 07:45 am EST, Mon March 5, 2012
iPad display production plans said including mini
Persistent talk of a smaller iPad in development was fueled again after rumors surfaced on Monday. Taiwan's Economic Daily News claimed that AU Optronics had been picked as one of the suppliers for the previously mentioned 7.85-inch display's LCD panel. LG Display would also be involved, but Samsung would reportedly be out of the production loop.
Pegatron, which makes some iPhones for Apple, would be the primary contractor rather than Foxconn. AUO affiliate Forhouse would make the backlights.
If accurate, the swing towards AUO and LG Display wouldn't necessarily reflect politics between Apple and Samsung. An accompanying claim stemming from Digitimes had Samsung becoming the main supplier of 9.7-inch displays for the current iPad form factor. It had supposedly shipped 2.45 million LCDs to Apple in January versus 1.65 million in December. LG had been more popular in December, at 2.1 million, but had supposedly dropped to 1.7 million by February.
Chimei Innolux, a small contributor overall, had supposedly dipped from 500,000 to 350,000 iPad displays.
The tip reiterated expectations for an upbeat winter quarter for iPads. About 16 million to 17 million would ship in total, with about 7.5 million to eight million being existing iPads and 8.5 million to nine million of the third-generation model. Apple could move as many as 65 million 9.7-inch iPads, up from 48 million, along with an unspecified number of the rumored smaller model.