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Tuesday, August 23, 2011, 05:13 am PT (08:13 am ET)

Apple to use three major suppliers for iPad 3's Retina display

Apple this week continues to align component suppliers for its third-generation iPad, now expected to launch sometime in early 2012, including three primary LCD makers and two backlight-unit suppliers, according to a new report.

Pointing to its usual "industry sources," DigiTimes reports that the iPad maker has chosen LG Display, Samsung Electronics and Sharp to supply LCD panels for the iPad 3, with LG remaining the biggest panel supplier.

Samsung is said to be the number-two iPad 3 panel supplier, but Sharp reportedly stands a chance of overtaking its Korea competitor if it is able to run stable supplies of quality panels for the next generation tablet, those sources said.

Supply of the so-called Retina display expected to make its debut on the iPad 3 will play a pivotal role in Apple's capacity to meet demand for the next-generation tablet.

Already, there have been reports that Apple was forced to abandon an ambitious plan to begin mass production of the iPad 3 this year because Samsung and LG have faced difficulties producing adequate yields of the 2,048 x 1,536-pixel displays.

Instead, the Cupertino-based company will now reportedly ask its suppliers to ramp up production and try to improve the yield rate for the new iPad in the fourth quarter before its official launch in early 2012.

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Along with its three Retina display providers, Apple will reportedly tap Taiwan-based Radiant Opto-Electronics to become the major supplier of backlight units (BLUs) for the device. It will reportedly supply over half of the BLUs required by LG and all of the BLUs needed by Samsung.

Sharp will also use parts from Radiant but will supplement them with supply of BLUs from an unnamed Japanese BLU supplier, the report added.