Apple thinks big, orders 13 million total iPad screens


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While analysts are keeping their fingers crossed for about six million iPad sales throughout 2010, Apple is shopping for more than twice that many screens for the gizmo.
According to a report by the Korean Times, Samsung has landed a big order from Apple that will see the Korean consumer electronics conglomerate supply the Cupertino firm with three million IPS displays for the iPad. Industry sources estimated the deal at around $240 million, putting the cost of the iPad’s 9.7-inch IPS display at around $80 per unit, five times more than a 3.5-inch display on the iPhone 3GS.
An industry source who asked not to be identified has confirmed the deal:
Samsung Electronics has won a contract worth $240 million from Apple to supply 3 million LCD panels used in the iPads.
Samsung, who recently announced its own iPad competitor, is said to be ramping up production of IPS LCD screens in order to fulfill Apple’s order. Apple is boasting the fact that the iPad utilizes a premium IPS display technology that allows a 178-degree viewing angle. Both Samsung and Apple representatives refused to comment on the report. In addition to the iPad deal, a Samsung Mobile Display executive has confirmed that his company is receiving LCD panel orders for Apple’s fourth-generation iPhone, due this summer.
Apple’s iPad display deal with Samsung comes in addition to an $800 million agreement with LG Display. The deal, struck a few months ago, secured ten million LCD panels for the iPad. The Mac maker also has a long-term display deal (for Macs) with LG estimated at half a billion dollars.
The combined Samsung and LG Display deals could mean that Apple might be shooting for a whopping 13 million iPad units, more than double the Morgan Stanley’s revised six million iPads estimate by the end of calendar 2010.
It remains to be seen whether sales will justify those estimates, but it’s great that Apple’s thinking big. Meanwhile, Apple may be unable to secure the original 400,000 iPad units for the launch due to Wintek’s low yield. Wintek is among a dozen Asian component makers suspected to supply parts for the iPad. The company is reportedly responsible for the iPad’s touch panel, although Korean Times claims that the “first iPads will feature screens made by LG Display and Chimei Innolux.”