updated 10:56 am EDT, Tue July 23, 2013
Samsung could be replacement
As a result of the latter's production problems, Apple won't be taking on AU Optronics as an LCD supplier for the second-generation iPad mini, says ETNews. LCDs for the first-gen Mini are provided by AUO, Sharp, and LG Display. Apple has reportedly forged a deal with LG for the next Mini, and is thought likely to take on Sharp again, since it can provide low-power oxide semiconductor panels.
Because of the technical advantages, Apple is said to be forging ahead with oxide semiconductor technology despite low initial production yields. The company became dissatisfied with AUO because in its work with Apple to date, it has allegedly failed to meet supply deadlines or "develop an LCD with [a] high penetration rate," according to ET.
Filling in for AUO may be Samsung Display. Samsung is believed to have developed an LCD sample for Apple, and may be one of the few companies that can manufacture units in the quantities Apple needs. Relations between Apple and Samsung Display have reportedly improved, and the claim is also in line with a rumor from last month, which even then pegged Samsung as a Mini panel supplier.
Unmentioned by ET is whether or not the next Mini will switch to a Retina display. Low resolution has been the most common complaint about the first-gen tablet, but whether or not the next model will gain Retina technology may be dependent on Apple's ability to secure a sizable Retina panel supply.