Will This Old Hand Enter Apple’s Supply Line?

Panasonic (NYSE:PC) is planning to cut production of LCD and plasma panels for televisions and focus on creating displays for devices such as Apple’s (NASDAQ:AAPL) iPad, according to several reports. Japanese business newspaper Diamond Online reported that the company was hoping to rely more and more on the more profitable business of building tablet panels instead of its main product line and was trying to find its way into Apple’s iPad supply chain. In fact, it is said to have already provided sample high-resolution LCD panels to Apple and according to a source within Panasonic, the iPhone maker appeared to be “satisfied.”

However, there were no details whether the two companies had reached an agreement yet or if they planned to do so anytime soon.

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When Apple launched its third-generation Retina display iPad in March this year, it was said to be experiencing production issues, with suppliers struggling to build the high-resolution screens. While only Samsung was able to provide display panels initially, Sharp and LG joined in later after resolving yield issues. Apple, of course, has also been rumored to be trying to decrease its reliance on Samsung, its main rival in the global smartphone market.

According to a report in Nikkei, the reason for Panasonic’s move was its continuing below-expectations sales. Its LCD TV sales are expected to see slower year-on-year growth to 13 million units, while its plasma TV sales are expected to fall by around half to 2.5 million units, the Nikkei said. It had earlier been reported that Panasonic had joined hands with Sony (NYSE:SNE) to manufacture OLED displays for televisions.

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