Apple will be using LCD panels from Sharp, Inc. for its iPad 3, according to The Wall Street Journal. In addition, the company is said to be providing the LCD panels for the sixth-generation iPhone as well. Both Apple products are expected in 2012.
According to The Journal, the so-called “iPad 3” will arrive early next year and include a Retina Display and faster processor.
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 supplies LCD panels for Apple’s iPhone smartphones, according to the person. The company will be supplying panels for the next iPhone, which is also expected to launch sometime next year, the person added.
The report suggests that Sharp is already providing the display for the current iPhone 4S and also the slightly updated 8GB iPhone 4. In addition, this Apple-Sharp alliance will extend to next year’s new iPhone as well.
This news suggests Apple is distancing itself from Samsung, the Korean-based company that has provided display parts for iDevices in the past. Both companies are currently embroiled in a number of patent lawsuits over the iPhone and iPad.