Apple may abandon Samsung for Retina iPad mini displays

New reports have suggested that the second generation of Apple's popular 7.9" tablet, the iPad mini, will be getting a new touch panel supplier - Innolux.

Mostly notably, the company are set to drop Samsung completely from display panel orders, a predictable outcome given legal battles both companies are embroiled in with each other. Currently the majority of iPad mini displays are produced by Samsung, and the loss of the contract could be a big hit to the Korean company's industry division.

According to David Hsieh, NPD DisplaySearch Greater China's VP, Innolux may provide touch panels for the next iPad mini. The company are a predictable contender for delivering iPad mini displays, owing to the fact they already provide touch panels for the full sized iPad.

Taipei Times reports that Innolux is soon to receive product qualification certificates from Apple to provide panels:

South Korea's LG Display Co and Taiwan's AU Optronics Corp are the major touch panel suppliers for the iPad Mini, NPD DisplaySearch Greater China region vice president David Hsieh said. 

"Innolux and China's Century Display will receive certificates for product qualification [from Apple] to supply [touch panels] for the iPad mini" Hsieh said.

Innolux said on Tuesday that it plans to ship its first touch panels for smartphones and tablets using its touch-on-display technology by the end of this year.

Yang Chiu-lien, head of Innolux's touch panel division confirmed that their focus is displays for smaller devices: "Smartphones and tablets are our focus this year. Our target is to ship 7-inch screens this year." The company have been supplying displays to Apple for iPhones, iPods and (full-sized) iPads since 2008.

Source: Tapei Times | iPad Mini image via Shutterstock

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24 Comments

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Good. That mans Samsung should start using them in their own products. The Note would be awesome with a high res IPS Display. Which is all it is anyways. Retina Display means nothing.

My six-year-old son is saving up for one (despite the fact that his father is staunch anti-apple).

It would be nice if they made it widescreen.

I have a Nexus 7 and my GF an iPad Mini. TBH, I prefer my Nexus 7 to watch movies or videos, but for anything else? iPad mini ratio all the way

dvb2000 said,

he must be holding it wrong, can't you turn it sideways?


Since when does 3:4 qualify as widescreen?

Dropping Samsung us understandable, but will most likely result in noticable display quality loss.

Aint no one out there that makes quality displays at reasonable price, like samsung.
They just were never beaten in reasonable side by side, price matched to other brands.

panacea said,
Dropping Samsung us understandable, but will most likely result in noticable display quality loss.

Apple probably don't sell mini ipads anyway. This could just be the start of them dropping them all together.

dvb2000 said,
Apple probably don't sell mini ipads anyway. This could just be the start of them dropping them all together.

That statement is wayyyy off. The iPad minis sold like hotcakes. At our Best Buy, the $329 model was sold out consistently between 2 weeks prior to Christmas until mid-February. The only ones that don't sell too well are the high end capacity ones with cellular functionality.

doubt it, considering Apple's strong position they will be able to negotiate a cheaper price from a new manufacturer (and they will because they'll want Apple's business). Cost is hardly a concern for Apple, this more seems like an attempt at hurting Samsung and giving them a message of "don't mess with Apple".

Xerxes said,
this more seems like an attempt at hurting Samsung and giving them a message of "don't mess with Apple".

And that would backfire if Samsung decided to stop supplying apple with flash memory and other components. Apple would have difficulty getting the quantities that they need, so they costs would increase dramatically.

Yeah, but Samsung likely wouldn't do that, unless they were willing to lose out on a lot of money. It'd also likely hurt their reputation for other partners and investors, as it would make them seem irresponsible, unstable, and take away the trust and faith everyone would have in them, including but not limited to employees who rely on them for their jobs.

Businesses do not make moves like this without establishing a plan. While it may look like Apple is moving in a direction just to give Samsung the finger, realistically, it may just make more sense for them to find a cheaper cost to manufacture, while giving less support to a direct competitor. Overall, the idea was not thought up overnight and signed off on.

There are many working cogs within the world of big business after all.

Xerxes said,
doubt it, considering Apple's strong position they will be able to negotiate a cheaper price from a new manufacturer (and they will because they'll want Apple's business). Cost is hardly a concern for Apple, this more seems like an attempt at hurting Samsung and giving them a message of "don't mess with Apple".

Samsung is a large conpany, they dont make most of there money because of Apple. Apple is the one who is going ot hurt if the crap they switch too isnt of very high quality. We will see if we start seeing displays that blink out or twitch. The quality difference will be very noticiable.

What is funny, Apple could have had the Retina Display Mini avail at launch, they preferred to give you all the garbage first so you all go spend money next year on a minor upgrade. Typical Apple.

I for one am glad they are dropping Samsung. Hopefully Sammy starts using those panels in the Note. They wont gp to waste. That is for sure.

surprised apple hasn't bought up a LCD fab plant......

but seriously though, Samsung panels are good quality, stupid to ditch them... there aren't too many panel mfgs out there and very little at their yield and quality

neufuse said,
surprised apple hasn't bought up a LCD fab plant......

but seriously though, Samsung panels are good quality, stupid to ditch them... there aren't too many panel mfgs out there and very little at their yield and quality

iPad and iPhone have been fine since 08. So there really is nothing to worry about.

Yes, and this is the main reason why I am not upgrading my Macbook pro early 2011 right now. I've talked with sales person in an Apple Store last week, and there is no way for them to give me a new MBP with Samsung display.

then why use Innolux? why go through a third party to get the same unit?
if anything, I can only see the display costing more going through a 'middleman' as they would have to buy it, rebrand it, then sell it to Apple, Samsung, even if selling discounted panels to Innolux aren't that stupid not to realise what's going on...