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Friday, February 17, 2012, 06:27 am PT (09:27 am ET)

LED maker reportedly tapped to supply chips for Apple television

Apple is said to have selected a key component supplier for its rumored television set, with LED chipmaker Genesis Photonics expected to enter the supply chain.

The Taiwan-based company was singled out by DigiTimes on Friday, which cited anonymous industry sources. Genesis is reportedly expected to supply LED chips to LCD panel maker Sharp for Apple's anticipated television.

Though Sharp is known for building LCD displays, the company does not produce most of the LED chips found in its screens. Sharp has used Japanese firm Nichia in the past, but it is believed to have switched to Genesis in 2011 for last year's lineup of LED HDTVs.

The partnership between Sharp and Genesis is expected to grow in 2012, as Genesis is said to have received certification for its LED chips. That could pave the way for Genesis to be a crucial component in Apple's rumored television set lineup.

Sharp's LED displays have previously been rumored to be utilized for an Apple television. One report from last November suggested that production of the HDTV could begin as early as this month at Sharp's Gen 10 Sakai facility in Osaka, Japan.

HDTV


One company that is not expected to supply display panels for an Apple television is Samsung, one of Apple's chief rivals. One Samsung official said earlier this week that if Apple does launch a full-fledged television set, it won't be able to compete with Samsung in terms of picture quality.

But Samsung is also said to be contemplating a decision to spin off its struggling LCD business, which has been affected by low margins in the fiercely competitive business. Because Samsung makes devices like smartphones, tablets and computers in addition to selling displays, competitors like Apple have been reluctant to purchase components from Samsung, and have instead turned to other suppliers like Sharp or LG.