|Apple is taking on Innolux and Century Display as panel suppliers for the next-generation iPad mini, claims David Hsieh, NPD DisplaySearch's VP for the greater China region. "Innolux and China's Century Display will receive certificates for product qualification [from Apple] to supply [touch panels] for the iPad mini," he says. Innolux is already supplying touch panels for the 9.7-inch iPad, and earlier this week the head of the company's touch panel division, Yang Chiu-lien, said that his firm is focusing on smartphones and tablets in 2013, and hoping to ship 7-inch screens before 2014. It's expected that any panels Innolux produces will use the supplier's touch-on-display technology, which should avoid issues linked to the in-cell touch technology found in the iPhone 5.
Korean reports, meanwhile, are claiming that Apple hasn't submitted a request for quotation to Samsung Display for iPad mini parts, and isn't planning to. It's speculated that Apple will instead turn to a mix of suppliers including Sharp, LG Display, Japan Display, and AU Optronics. Apple has been trying to distance itself from Samsung in terms of supply, but with limited success; Samsung is one of the few companies large enough to be able to keep up with demand for products like iPads.