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Friday, May 22, 2009, 05:50 am PT (08:50 am ET)

Apple said to have settled on supplier for tablet display

A brief report out of the Far East on Friday appears to be corroborating a trio of earlier reports in stating that Apple has tapped its current iPhone touchscreen supplier to also provide the display panels for its upcoming tablet device.

"Wintek has been selected as the panel module supplier for Apple's upcoming e-book form factor netbook product," Taiwanese rumor site DigiTimes wrote in a two paragraph report that cited local notebook-related integrated circuit designers as its sources.

The report added that those IC designers are optimistic about demand for notebook-related products in the second half of this year given that a more diversified array of products are expected to come to market around that time.

Word of Wintek's role as the panel supplier for the much rumored tablet was first reported by the Chinese-language Commercial Times during the second week of March. Almost immediately, the Dow Jones chimed in with its own report supporting those claims but adding that the panels would measure "between 9.7-inches and 10-inches."

For its part, mainstream media outlet Reuters would enter the mix no more than 24-hours later, citing its own source who said the panels would measure exactly 10-inches diagonally and that Apple would "take third-quarter delivery" of the parts.

Just this week, Taiwan's National Federation of Independent Trade Unions (NFITU) and other area labor groups protested in front of Apple's Taipei offices in a plea for the company to step in and address controversial labor practices on the part of Wintek.

The component supplier reportedly fired 600 workers in December without giving advance notice while simultaneously cutting the pay of remaining workers and forcing them to work unpaid overtime to fulfill "rush" orders.