Apple reportedly ordering large amounts of touch panels for next-gen iPads

iPad in hands (two-up, iPad, iPad mini)

The somewhat reliable Taiwanese trade publication DigiTimes yesterday changed course to say a second-generation Retina iPad mini upgrade is in fact launching this Fall, contrary to previous reports by Economic Daily News and NPD DisplaySearch, which called for a 2014 launch.

And in another sign of production ramp-up, DigiTimes reports that Apple’s touch panel suppler TPK is expecting its third-quarter performance to improve due to significant One Glass Solution (OGS) touch panel orders from Apple…

According to DigiTimes:

TPK expects shipments for the technology to increase throughout August and September as Apple gears up to launch its next-generation iPad, the sources said.

As Apple is one of TPK’s largest customers, TPK’s revenue in June dropped by 40 percent because the iPhone maker adjusted its reserves throughout the previous quarter, DigiTimes explains.

TPK is hoping to receive iPad mini lamination orders as well. It’s also interesting that the supplier has reportedly slashed pricing for its touch panels “in order to land more orders from Apple amid increasing competition in the touch panel industry”.

OGS monolithic touch technology offers significant cost savings compared to the traditional G/G-type touch panels while not changing the LCD panel process. It’s also more mature than the in-cell display process featured on the iPhone 5.

Apple’s current 9.7-inch iPad uses a G/G touch screen structure. DigiTimes in January said Apple was testing Retina panels for the next iPad mini based on OGS technology.

In addition to the Retina iPad mini upgrade, this Fall should bring out a fifth-generation iPad with iPad mini style design, skinnier side bezels and likely a CPU bump.