The new iPad has a high-resolution Retina display. Photo: Christina Bonnington/Wired
Wired reported Friday that only one display manufacturer, Samsung, was supplying Apple with the Retina display for its new iPad. Although a conflicting report from Reuters has surfaced today, IHS iSuppli analyst Vinita Jakhanwal stands by what she originally told us. In last week’s article, she said, “Meeting pre-order demand is still a concern. A single display supplier doing this will be challenging.”
Our Friday story was corroborated on Tuesday by a Bloomberg report that also quoted Jakhanwal. And thus began wide speculation over whether Apple would be able to fulfill demand for its third-generation tablet.
But the story took a 180-degree turn early today when Reuters reported that a source “close to the matter” says both LG and Samsung are in full swing producing the high-resolution display. Wired reached out for comment from Samsung and LG. Samsung told us it has nothing to comment, and we hadn’t yet heard from LG by press time.
It’s becoming a case of he-said, she-said, but after the Reuters report was published, Jakhanwal reiterated her statement from Friday, telling Wired the following in a phone interview:
“Apple has likely qualified three sources for display of the new iPad, and we are maintaining that. We haven’t changed our position from there. All three suppliers have been working to reach mass volume production to meet the launch of new iPad, but at this point, it’s likely that the most volumes may be coming from Samsung. LG and Sharp are likely to pick up volume production soon, in April.”
Shipping date estimates for the new iPad have recently slipped: Customers ordering today are facing two- to three-week delivery waits, suggesting demand is intense, and supplies are limited. Demand for major new Apple products like the iPhone and iPad is always extremely high, making it difficult to tell whether sheer consumer interest is increasing shipping delays, or if production isn’t ramping up quickly enough overseas.
Producing a 2048 x 1536 display is a technical challenge by any measure, so Apple’s suppliers may be experiencing a brand new set of issues. And one analyst says sales thus far have already broken Apple’s records, but definitive pre-order numbers aren’t yet known. The third-generation iPad goes on sale at Apple Stores starting at 8 a.m. on Friday, March 16.