TechNews Exclusive: Sharp and Samsung Said to Supply iPad Pro Panels

4 Jul

Sharp and Samsung have reportedly been selected by Apple to supply the panels for the 12.9-inch iPad Pro, and the former may be the primary supplier following a recent small-scale trial production, according to information from the industry obtained by TechNews. Despite competing for a spot in Apple’s supply chain, LG has been considered the second runner-up due to its low yield rates.

The sources from the industry disclosed that Sharp has successfully trial produced the 12.9-inch panels in June. This would mark the second time Sharp has become the primary supplier for mobile device panels; the previous time was for the iPhone. The cooperation with Apple is estimated to account for over 20 percent of Sharp’s total revenues, and is believed to make it even more difficult for Sharp to distance itself from the U.S. company.

Samsung is said to be the secondary supplier for the upcoming iPad Pro. LG placed third due to its yield issues. Samsung will reportedly start supplying the panels in September, which means that the first wave of the iPad Pro hitting the market will all carry Sharp’s panels.

Meanwhile, in the past, Taiwanese firms such as General Interface Solution (GIS) and TPK Holding manufactured 60 percent and 40 percent of the touch screen modules for iPad and iPad mini. GIS is expected to take up to 70 percent of the orders this year. The 12.9-inch iPad Pro is likely to be unveiled before the fourth quarter.