Samsung Sole Supplier for Retina Display in New iPad?
Samsung Electronics Co. (005930) will supply the touch screen for Apple Inc. (AAPL)’s new iPad after LG Display Co. (034220) and Sharp Corp. (6753) didn’t meet the U.S. company’s quality requirements, according to an analyst with iSuppli.Sharp's role in the new Retina iPad display has been particularly murky, with some sources claiming that the company was responsible for a new design intended for the display and that it would be a key manufacturing partner for Apple. Rumors of Sharp failing to meet Apple's quality control standards surfaced in January, although a photo of a leaked display from Sharp surfaced a few weeks later. Another report from last month similarly suggested that Sharp was not a part of Apple's supply chain for the new iPad display, despite having designed the component.
Samsung, the world’s top flat-panel maker, currently is the sole vendor of the display for the 9.7-inch device, said Vinita Jakhanwal, a senior manager at iSuppli, a unit of Englewood, Colorado-based IHS Inc.
Apple and Samsung have a complicated relationship given the fact that Samsung provides a substantial number of components for Apple's iOS devices even as it competes with Apple through its own Android-based hardware. Apple has reportedly been seeking to reduce its reliance on Samsung in light of the competition between the two companies, but market forces and technical considerations clearly trump that desire, and Apple is continuing to use Samsung when it is Apple's best option for a particular component.