AU Optronics seen boosting output of iPad mini screens ahead of next week’s unveiling

Having solved yield issues, Taiwan’s maker of flat panel displays AU Optronics (AUO) is said to be boosting its output of displays for the iPad mini, with Apple being so confident in AUO’s ability to deliver that it upped orders by 50 percent to three million panels (Apple’s striving to produce ten million iPad minis).

The screens should trickle down to assembly factories later this month, giving hope that Apple will have ample supply of parts at its disposal to manufacture enough iPad minis for the rumored October 23 introduction. If history is an indication, the iPad mini should be available either right after the keynote or a week or two following the presser…

According to a report by China Economic News Service, AUO has finally fixed manufacturing issues and is now able to manufacture three million panels for the iPad mini.

Industry sources say AUO originally had minor problems in meeting Apple`s requirement for under-2.2 JND (Just Noticeable Difference). Apple originally asked AUO to supply two million iPad mini panels per month, but has elevated its monthly order with AUO to three million panels, which will be scheduled for delivery in mid-October.

LED lighting strips and control boards for the iPad mini’s display are reportedly being provided by Taiwan Surface Mounting Technology Corp.

AUO is Taiwan’s second-largest maker of flat panel displays. The company manufactures TFT panels for the likes of Samsung, NEC, LG, Dell, Apple, Viewsonic and Acer and supplies displays for Apple’s MacBook notebook lineup.

The Wall Street Journal thinks the forthcoming iPad mini will have “a lower resolution than the third-generation iPad”. The device should be introduced on October 23, possibly alongside a revamped iMac with an ultra-thin chassis and a 13-inch MacBook Pro with Retina display.

The report comes amid Apple seemingly widening its relationship with suppliers. Contrasting its predecessor Steve Jobs who would only keep alternative suppliers as a fall back option, the new CEO Tim Cook (who under the Steve Jobs regime managed Apple’s supply chain) is moving forward with plans to diversify providers of components to reduce risk by not making Apple too dependent on a single supplier.

With the A6 chip inside the iPhone 5, Apple reportedly broke technological ties with South Korea-based Samsung, which no longer collaborates with Apple on semiconductor solutions and instead now acts as a dumb manufacturer of the Apple-designed silicon, on a foundry basis.

Likewise, Samsung is no longer the primary supplier of displays as Japan Display, Sharp, LG Display and AUO now all make screens for Apple products. Additionally, it appears that Apple is now increasingly using memory chips from Hynix in iOS devices, to a much greater extent than before.

Additionally, Foxconn no longer has a monopoly the production of Apple gadgets as rival Pegatron is seen landing more and more orders as of late.

That’s what happens when one messes with Apple.

Google copied Android and now as a result has been kicked from iOS 6.

Samsung has been found guilty of lifting Apple’s design and utility patents for the iPhone and iPad and is forced to pay more than $1 billion in damages.

With Apple taking its chip making biz to TSMC as soon as possible and other vendors now making screens for iOS devices, Tim Cook appears to be exploiting his supply chain prowess to Apple’s advantage, which is just what the company needs amid the rise of the copycats, no?