Refreshed internals, lower price point possible.
Apple Buying Up Touch Screens with Over 60% of Global Supply in 2011
Digitimes reports that Apple has secured nearly 60% of the global touch panel capacity of 2011 in order to fulfill its internal goals of shipping 40 million iPads this year.
Sources from tablet PC makers also pointed out that the component shortage is causing their shipment volumes to be unable to catch up with their orders, especially for second-tier players. Touch panels are currently suffering the most serious shortage due to Apple holding control over the capacity of major touch panel makers such as Wintek and TPK, and with US-based RIM, Motorola and Hewlett-Packard (HP) also competing for related components, second-tier players are already out of the game, the sources noted.So called "second tier" players are seemingly unable to obtain supply due to the high demand from Apple and other companies.
Apple had previously revealed that they had prepaid $3.9 billion to three companies in order to guarantee long term supply of a certain component, but stopped short of revealing which one. This news seems to further indicate that Apple spent its $3.9 billion investment towards securing LCD supply for its future products.