iPad 3 Production to Start in Oct.

Aug 25, 2011 Ι Industry In-Focus Ι Electronics and Computers Ι By Steve Chuang, CENS
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Taipei, Aug. 25, 2011 (CENS)--With Apple Inc.'s iPad 3 to hit the market early next year, contract manufacturers in the supply chain have been ready to supply related parts and components, and will allegedly start delivery in small quantities in October.

Market observers indicated that most suppliers for iPad 2 production will remain in the supply chain. For example, LG Display will continue to supply display panels for use in iPad 3, while Hon Hai Precision Industry Co., Ltd. will keep handling the assembly.

Taiwan's Radiant Opto-Electronics Corp., a backlight module producer already certificated by Apple, and panel makers TPK Holdings Co., Ltd. and Wintek Corp. will also join the supply chain of iPad 3. Industry insiders have revealed that TPK, for instance, is already scheduled to start delivery in September, and its monthly shipment to the customer may reach one million units in December at the earliest.

In the meantime, Richtek Technology Corp., a Taiwanese IC designer, has reportedly garnered part of Apple's contract orders for power management ICs used for display panels of iPad 3, while Integrated Memory Logic Ltd. (IML), a fab-less semiconductor foundry, has also been contracted to exclusively supply integrated P-Gamma/DVR/VCOM chips. Accordingly, IML's shipment of the component is estimated at one million units in October, and may double in December.

While most contract manufacturers have been kept on Apple's iPad 3 supplier list, some newcomers are also likely to be seen in the supply chain. For example, Pegatron Corp., a Taiwanese electronic producer, is believed to be selected as Apple's second iPad assembler, as the U.S. firm has intended to reduce overdependence on Hon Hai in tablet assembly to stabilize shipment of iPad 3, especially after an explosion accident occurring in Hon Hai's iPad production plant in China this May once jeopardized iPad 2 supply.

Also, Japan's Sharp, which has worked with Apple on a joint venture and set up a new production line specifically for the partner, is expected to squeeze Samsung out of Apple's display panel supplier list by joining the iPad 3 supply chain.
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