Innolux Corp (群創光電), the world’s No. 3 LCD flat-panel maker, is expected to become a new touch panel supplier to Apple Inc for its iPad Mini tablets, market researcher NPD DisplaySearch said yesterday.
That would be the latest progress made by Taiwanese panel makers in gaining a foothold in supplying touch panels used in tablets. Last year, the market was dominated by South Korean and Japanese firms, including Samsung Electronics Co, LG Display Co and Sharp Corp, NPD DisplaySearch said.
South Korea’s LG Display Co and Taiwan’s AU Optronics Corp (友達光電) are the major touch panel suppliers for the iPad Mini, NPD DisplaySearch Greater China region vice president David Hsieh (謝勤益) said.
“Innolux and China’s Century Display (深超光電) will receive certificates for product qualification [from Apple] to supply [touch panels] for the iPad Mini,” Hsieh said.
Innolux said on Tuesday that it plans to ship its first touch panels for smartphones and tablets using its touch-on-display technology by the end of this year.
Innolux declined to comment on whether the new touch panels would be made using the in-cell technology currently used on the iPad Mini and iPhone 5.
“Smartphones and tablets are our focus this year. Our target is to ship 7-inch screens this year,” Yang Chiu-lien (楊秋蓮), head of Innolux’s touch panel division, said on Tuesday.
Since 2008, Innolux has been supplying flat-panel screens to Apple for its iPhones, iPod nano music players and iPad tablets, Yang said.