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Thursday, March 28, 2013, 11:43 am PT (02:43 pm ET)

Apple said to drop Samsung, turn to Innolux for iPad mini displays

Innolux Corp. may benefit from the ongoing strife between Samsung and Apple, as the iPad maker is said to be dropping the latter in favor of the former as a supplier of touch displays for its iPad mini.

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David Hsieh, NPD DisplaySearch Greater China region vice president, reportedly said on Thursday that Apple will rely at least in part on Innolux for touch panels in the next iPad mini.

"Innolux and China's Century Display will receive certificates for product qualification [from Apple] to supply [touch panels] for the iPad mini," Taipei Times quoted Hsieh as saying.

Earlier this week, Yang Chiu-lien, head of Innolux's touch panel division, said that the company will focus on smartphones and tablets this year, with a goal of shipping 7-inch screens within the year. Innolux already supplies touch panels for Apple's full-size iPads and has been doing so since 2008. The components the Taiwanese company produces this year are expected to feature its touch-on-display technology. Such tech would allow Apple to side-step some of the issues that affect the current "in-cell" display tech seen in the iPhone 5.

Meanwhile, DigiTimes cites Korean-based media reports claiming that Apple has not yet submitted — and will not submit — a request for quotation (RFQ) to Samsung Display for components. These media reports speculate that Apple will instead opt to source components from LG Display, Sharp, Japan Display, and AU Optronics for the iPad mini.

Even while the two companies compete in the courts and in the market, Apple has relied on Samsung as a supplier of a number of components in its best-selling products. As Samsung has developed into a fierce rival of Apple, the iPhone maker has sought to diversify its suppliers, so as not to contribute to the bottom line of its competitor and to keep Samsung from becoming privy to Apple's plans.