Apple’s series of heated lawsuits with Samsung have put the two companies at odds, and Apple has been reportedly looking to other suppliers for hi-res displays. Specifically, Apple now has Sharp on deck to supply screens for the upcoming iPad 3.
According to The Wall Street Journal, Apple is adding Sharp to its roster of screen suppliers for the next-generation iPad. The displays will allegedly be of higher resolution and thinner than the screens found in previous generations.
Apple Inc. is adding Sharp Corp. as a maker of screens used in the next-generation iPad, people familiar with the situation said Thursday, as the U.S. consumer electronics company moves to diversify component suppliers for its products.
One of the people familiar with the matter said Apple’s next iPad is expected to launch next year, and Sharp’s Kameyama No. 2 plant in central Japan will manufacture LCD panels for the device.
The person also said Apple is also investing in facilities at Sharp’s panel manufacturing factories in Japan, without specifying the amount being invested, highlighting Apple’s plans to work with multiple component makers to ensure that it can secure enough parts to make its popular iPhones and iPads. Osaka-based Sharp makes liquid crystal displays, which are widely used in tablets, smartphones and flat-screen televisions.
Sharp already makes LCD panels for the iPhone, and Apple is said to be closing a deal with LG as another display supplier for next year’s iPad. Analysts have predicted that a Retina display for the iPad is coming, which would most likely be the differentiating feature between the current iPad 2 and a new model.