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LG Display (NYSE:LPL) has been identified as one of the suppliers for Apple’s (NASDAQ:AAPL) new MacBook Pro with Retina Display, according to iFixit, a revelation that should quash rumors that Apple could be using Sharp’s IGZO technology for the new 15-inch high-resolution display.
However, Apple notoriously uses multiple suppliers for the same parts, so it’s likely that other MacBook Pro units feature Retina displays from other known LDC manufacturers. Particular attention has been paid to who supplies Apple components in recent months as the company finds itself in an ongoing legal battle against Samsung, its largest supplier.
As Apple meets Samsung in court time and time again over alleged copyright infringements, the company has indicated that it would like to move away from relying on Samsung for components, but until now, it was believed Samsung was the only partner who could produce Retina displays for the third-generation iPad, which launched earlier this year. Now it’s possible that LG Display could also begin developing iPad displays — it already has the technology in place to build the larger Retina displays for the 15-inch MacBook Pro.
LG has been a major supplier of LCD displays to Apple over the years. In 2009, the two companies reached a $500 million deal for the supply of flat-panel displays through 2013. However, their relationship too became strained last year when LG was said to have lost its status as the leading display maker for Apple’s iPad 2 after a batch of LCD shipments were reportedly plagued with quality issues.
Still, it doesn’t seem as though Apple held too long-lasting a grudge, partnering again with LG on the highly-successful new MacBook Pro, which sold out of initial supplies in the first few days of its availability last week. But the popularity of Apple devices means the company will likely continue to employ multiple supply partners to meet demand. Sharp is expected to be a major partner with Apple for screen production, after Apple invested in a Sharp plant last year, and Apple’s manufacturing partner Foxconn bought a 10 percent stake in Sharp earlier this year to help boost its LCD business.
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