Apple's CEO Tim Cook made it clear during their recent conference call that there was going to be iPad mini Retina display supply restraints for the fourth quarter of the year. Today we're learning that the problem appears to stem from Sharp who is oddly experiencing low yield rates for its Oxide TFT process.
Apple's other Retina display supplier LG Display on the other hand is delivering about 60% of quality displays to Apple using a-Si process with Sharp only accounting for 40%. LG is also shining as a supplier by delivering 60% of Apple's iPad Air Retina displays.
Considering that IGZO is a Sharp invention, it's difficult to understand why LG is able to supply Apple with displays when Sharp can't. In March Forbes asked the question, "Does Samsung's Investment in Sharp Threaten Apple?" Their report went on to state that "A Samsung's equity tie up with Sharp could put Apple's most formidable competitor squarely in Apple's product and technology supply chain." Now when supply for Apple's new iPad mini is extremely tight, one has to wonder if Sharp's Samsung deal is politically playing out.
Lastly on this subject it was noted that although AU Optronics and Innolux tried to obtain orders for Apple's 7.9-inch Retina panels, they ultimately failed.
Apple Orders new MacBook Pro in Large Volumes
In other Apple news from Taiwan, Apple has reportedly placed orders for new MacBook Pro models unveiled in October in large volumes due to expected good sales in the fourth quarter. The orders have filled up some of its suppliers' capacities, according to Taiwan-based supply chain makers.
However, most of the suppliers are unwilling to expand capacities on concerns that Apple may stop taking its ordered shipments suddenly like it did in the fourth quarter of 2012.
Apple reported Mac series shipments of 4.57 million units in its fiscal fourth quarter of 2013, up 21% sequentially. Market watchers estimate that the growth was mainly contributed by its MacBook Air and iMac, which recently received specification upgrades.