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Apple hands iPad screen contract to rival Samsung

Sharp not up to scratch in churning out its own design

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Apple has handed the manufacturing deal for iPad screens to its patent spat rival – Samsung – after LG Display and Sharp failed to deliver on the ultra-high-res screens needed for the new tablet.

The new iPad's 3.1 million pixel screen is its biggest selling point. But it seems as if Samsung is the only company capable of getting it made on time and to standard. IHS (formerly iSuppli) senior analyst Vinita Jakhanwal told Bloomberg that Samsung is currently is the sole vendor of the display:

The display specifications on the new iPad are very demanding in terms of the very high resolution. Achieving this high resolution without compromising on the power consumption and brightness and maintaining Apple’s quality standards are supposedly proving to be a challenge for LG Display and Sharp.

As analysed by The Reg here, a special structure involving a 3 micrometer layer of photo-definable acrylic resin is required to produce the iPad 3 screen – a dreamy super high resolution 2048 × 1536, 264 ppi affair that has four times the number of pixels of the iPad 2. The technology design patent for the resin layer which enables the "super high aperture" display is held by Sharp, but it seems that the inventors don't have the manufacturing muscle to make it to Apple's specifications.

But Samsung is already embedded deep within quite a bit of Apple kit. Samsung already holds the contract for the manufacture of several of Apple's most prestigious components, specifically the dual-core A5 chips in the iPhone 4S and the dual-core A5X chips in the new iPad. Samsung's Galaxy Tab is one of the Apple's few rivals in the high-end of the tablet market, and the two compete fiercely in the smartphone market, while also being engaged in global disputes over technology patents. ®

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