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Burned by supply chain issues, Apple may again look to Sharp for future iPhone, iPad displays

Published Jan 8th, 2013 3:00PM EST
Apple Sharp IGZO

Apple (AAPL) is learning that good help can be hard to find. In its eagerness to shed its reliance on Samsung (005930) as a component supplier, Apple has had difficulty in finding another vendor capable of producing displays as efficiently as its partner-turned-rival traditionally has. This past summer, the company began moving away from Sharp (SCHAY) a bit when it tapped LG Display (LPL) and AU Optronics to produce panels for its iPad mini. But now that Apple has experienced supply chain problems with the iPad mini, it could decide to give Sharp a fresh look for future devices.

AppleInsider reports that Topeka Capital analyst Brian White, appearing at a Sharp media briefing at the Consumer Electronics Show, said that Apple was a “prime candidate” to adopt Sharp’s IGZO technology for displays, especially since Apple “increasingly requires new innovative display technologies to compete with Samsung.” Apple has been linked to Sharp’s IGZO panels in the past when rumors suggested that Apple would use them for its long-rumored “iTV.”

Prior to joining BGR as News Editor, Brad Reed spent five years covering the wireless industry for Network World. His first smartphone was a BlackBerry but he has since become a loyal Android user.