Friday, May 27, 2011, 08:15 am PT (11:15 am ET)
Another touch sensor maker will join Apple's list of iPad 2 suppliers in JuneApple continues to add component makers to its overseas supply chain, as Chimei Innolux is expected to begin shipping touch sensors for the iPad 2 in June.
Chimei recently signed a technology licensing agreement to create LCD displays with the in-plane switching technology Apple employs in the iPad. And according to DigiTimes, the company also recently began the development of touch sensors, and plans to begin shipping products to Apple in June.
With IPS displays and touch sensors, Chimei aims to become a one-stop shop for panel production and touchscreen components. Even final assembly is part of the chain, as Chimei is an affiliate of Foxconn Technology Group, Apple's overseas manufacturing partner.
The primary panel suppliers for the iPad 2 are currently LG Display and Samsung Electronics. Friday's report indicated that LG remains Apple's "major supplier," as Samsung directly competes with the iPad with its own Galaxy Tab.
LG is expected to ship three million 9.7-inch displays to Apple in May. That's an increase from the two million the company is said to have provided for iPad production in April.
The news of yet another supplier comes quickly after it was said this week that Taiwan's Coretronic will begin providing backlights to Apple for iPad 2 production. Apple has continued to add companies to its supply chain in an effort to increase production and availability of the iPad 2.
And in April, it was said that Apple was testing yet another LED backlight maker in its iPad 2 supply chain. Everlight Electronics reportedly delivered samples of its LED backlight products to Apple, though no decisions were revealed.
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