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LCD backlight supplier reportedly selected for Apple's second-gen iPad

Apple has reportedly selected another key component supplier for its upcoming second-generation iPad, with the news of a backlight unit suggesting the device's display will once again be LCD.

Taiwanese industry publication DigiTimes reported Wednesday that Coretronic has been selected to supply backlight units to Chimei Innolux and LG Display for the screen on the upcoming iPad update. Coretronic will be the sole supplier to CMI, and it will allegedly share the duties with Radiant Opto-Electronics in sending backlights to LG Display.

The report also reaffirmed claims that the next-generation iPad will begin shipping to Apple within 100 days, allowing the company to stock up on supply in time for an April launch.

If true, the inclusion of a backlight in the iPad 2 would finally quash rumors of an OLED display on the forthcoming device, as that display technology does not use a backlight. Numerous reports, including many from DigiTimes itself, have suggested that Apple could employ an OLED screen on its next touchscreen tablet.

Another report from the publication indicated that Apple developed an iPhone with an active matrix OLED display, but ultimately rejected the hardware. It was said that AM-OLED is less suitable for displaying text, and Apple was also concerned about supply issues with the display panels.

In February, a scientific analysis of the Nexus One's OLED screen found that it was soundly beaten by the LCD display on Apple's iPhone 3GS. Dr. Raymond Soneira, president of DisplayMate Technologies, found that the Nexus One's bright, eye-catching display also has lots of noise of artifacts, and doesn't accurately reproduce colors.

The first-generation iPad introduced in-plane switching for Apple's mobile devices on its LCD display. IPS technology allows for improved viewing angles and color reproductions on flat-panel displays.

Shipments of backlight units reportedly hit 6 million in November, up 14 percent from October thanks largely to notebooks and monitors, which accounted for nearly 5 million. Backlights for TVs accounted for just over a million.