A report today in DigiTimes (which reported yesterday that the iPad 2 is on track for an April launch) says Coretronic has been chosen to supply backlight units for Apple’s next iPad. It’s the latest piece in a supplier puzzle that’s beginning to form a fairly complete picture of what the iPad 2 will ultimately look like. The good news? Specific component supplier reports almost always precede an impending launch.
Here’s a breakdown of which company is reportedly supplying what for Apple’s next tablet so far:
As mentioned, today DigiTimes, a Taiwanese publication with access to Apple’s Asian suppliers, reported that Coretronic would be providing backlighting units for the new iPad. Those backlights will be used with displays produced by Chimei Innolux and LG Display. Coretronic is a new addition this time around, and it will share duties with the previous iPad backlight manufacturer, Radiant Opto-Electronics. Coretronic will exclusively supply Chimei, while Radiant will exclusively work with LG, according to the report.
A backlight supplier for iPad 2 means that the device will retain an LCD screen, since an OLED display doesn’t use a backlight. That’s probably good news, though, since Apple’s current iPhone and iPod touch Retina Display, arguably the best on the market, uses LCD technology.
Printed Circuit Board
Printed circuit board (PCB) suppliers for the iPad 2 have also been reported by DigiTimes. Ibiden, Tripod Technology and TTM Technologies are reported to be supplying the initial stock of PCBs for the iPad 2, with more to be added in February 2011 when production ramps up.
Qualcomm is said to be supplying CDMA-GSM multimode chips according to Wedge Partner’s Brian Blair. This would make the iPad 2 usable on networks like Verizon’s without the need for an additional MiFi device. DigiTimes has Taiwan Semiconductor Company (TSMC) pegged as the chipmaker for these Qualcomm components in a new report.
Just last week, on Dec. 1, Largan Precision was reported to have secured a contract as the exclusive supplier of the camera lens module to be used in the iPad 2. That’s according to DigiTimes, again, via documents the lens-maker filed claiming said exclusivity. TUAW noted that Largan doesn’t offer a 5-megapixel module currently, but does have an 8-megapixel one, sparking speculation that the iPad 2 could potentially boast a better camera than the iPhone.
Most of this information admittedly comes from the same source, but when it comes to supplier predictions, at least, DigiTimes has a fairly solid track record. Last February, it released a list of iPad component suppliers just prior to the device’s launch, which proved quite accurate.
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