Apple looks to Samsung as LG Display, Sharp struggle to make mini Retina panels

four iPad mini retina display

It looks like Apple’s Retina iPad mini production problems are worse than we thought. According to a new report, both LG Display and Sharp are having so much trouble mass-producing the hi-res panels for the tablet that the company has been forced to turn to rival Samsung for help…

CNET passes along a report from Nikkei:

“Currently, LG Display and Sharp are both stipulated as display suppliers for the new iPad Mini. Problem is, LGD is the only one having any success at achieving production, according to a DisplaySearch Japan analyst cited in a Nikkei report. But even LGD is not faring that well at the moment. The report characterizes production at LGD as “not close to full production.”

As a result, Apple is now turning to Samsung. But that erstwhile supplier to Apple will not be ready to deliver any kind of volume until well into next year, according to the report.”

While we’ve heard several reports now indicating that initial supplies of iPad mini with Retina display would be very limited at launch, this makes it seem like the situation is much worse than we previously thought. It’s particularly telling that Apple has turned to Samsung to bail them out.

Tim cook and company have reportedly been trying to decrease their supply chain independence on Samsung as their rivalry continues to heat up both in the marketplace and in the courtroom. They’ve gone elsewhere for iOS device displays, and rumor has it they’re looking at new chip-makers.

When Apple announced the iPad mini with Retina display back in October, it would only give a vague launch date of ‘November.’ But it’s not known whether or not this was due to manufacturing problems, or if the company wanted to draw more attention to its redesigned (higher margin) iPad Air.

Apple began selling the iPad Air around the globe today, starting at $499.