With several Japanese manufacturers struggling to bring their facilities back into operation after the earthquake and tsunami, Digitimes reports Apple is willing to pay more to have a constant, steady flow of touch panel supply for the coming months. After the release of the iPad 2 and with several reports about Apple facing issues with low tablet shipments from Asian manufacturers, the rumor is interesting as it suggests Apple is re-considering the amount of money that goes into pre-production deals with companies in China and Taiwan.
In order to secure sufficient supply of touch panels used in the iPad and iPhone, Apple has talked with Taiwan-based makers, considering some room for them to hike quotes, according to these makers.
With Apple’s capacity, It is a reasonable strategy from Apple to allow suppliers to hike quotes, and it will be a great help to the overall supply chain, even just for the short term, but will increase pressure to other vendors for tablet PCs and smartphone, touch panel makers believed.
In the past week many publications reported the Japanese earthquake might have not affected the stream of supplies necessary for the iPad 2 production. Apple is clearly looking ahead though, with an iPhone 5 set to debut this summer and likely ready to go into mass-production in a few weeks. Digitimes claims Apple is taking 60% of the current touch panel market, and a deal to pay manufacturers more to ensure availability may spell bad news for competitors like Samsung or Motorola, both heavily betting on Android-based tablets for 2011. [via MacRumors]