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Wednesday, July 17, 2013, 10:41 pm PT (01:41 am ET)

Rumor: Apple ramps iOS device chip orders, in talks with LG over 4K displays

Two rumors regarding Apple's supply chain activities surfaced on Wednesday, one claiming the company has recently stepped up IC orders, while another has the company in talks with LG over "Ultra HDTV" screens.

Render

Render of Apple's supposed low-cost "iPhone Lite."


Citing unnamed sources, the sometimes reliable Taiwanese publication DigiTimes reports Apple's microchip suppliers are seeing an increase in orders, suggesting a new product launch is in the offing.

According to the publication, Apple's chip orders for the third quarter are almost double that from quarter two. Further, sources claim IC shipments will grow "significantly" throughout the second half of 2013 to account for as much as 70 percent of the company's total orders for the year.

While the purported spike in chip orders does not necessarily equate to the debut of new products, the growth comes after a slow period that saw the tech giant reduce parts orders from the fourth quarter of 2012 to the first quarter of 2013, sources said. For example, these people claim iPhone component orders fall to 20 million units per quarter during the six-month interval. The publication did not specify which components or suppliers were affected.

With the much-rumored launch of the so-called "iPhone 5S," "iPhone Lite," and a new iPad, IC shipments are predicted to hit 40 million units for the third quarter.

In a separate report, the hit-or-miss publication said a rumor making the rounds in Asia has Apple in talks with South Korea's LG Display over the purchase of 55- and 65-inch "Ultra HDTV" panels. Sharp is also reportedly being considered as a supplier for the high-resolution displays.

While it is unknown what product Apple is planning for the panels, the project remains in the testing phase, meaning no deals have been made.

Televisions using these screens, sometimes referred to as "4K" displays, are just now hitting the consumer market from major industry players Samsung, Sony, and Sharp.