Apple eyes LG to break iPad 3 display monopoly

Unsubstantiated rumours coming from Korea suggest that Apple is trying to break Samsung's as-yet exclusive contract to supply touch panels for the forthcoming iPad 3.

The Korea Times says its secret sources have discovered that the Cupertino-based gadget maker is currently in talks with LG as well as Samsung to supply touch-screen LCD panels for the next generation of the popular tablet device, and that both companies are close to signing deals.

Until now, it has been widely thought that Samsung is Apple's sole supplier, but ongoing legal battles between the two tech titans may have forced Apple to look elsewhere to avoid a situation where its production could be held to ransom by the Korean company.

In a tit-for-tat spat Apple has accused Samsung of copying its iPhone design whilst Samsung has accused Apple of using its patents without payment.

The KT sources also say that testing of new HD panels with 2048×1536 pixels and a 4:3 aspect ratio has already started at the Chinese outposts of both companies.

The new rumours come just days after Apple was said to be looking at moving the production of its mobile processors away from Samsung with Taiwanese fab TSMC pegged as a possible partner for silicon designed to power the iPad 3 and iPhone 6, both of which are due some time in 2012, according to most tech industry crystal-ball gazers.

Samsung is reported to have cut its output of LCD panels by as much as 15 per cent to stop the bottom falling out of the market in the face of reduced demand.

Although the Korean company is one of the biggest manufacturers of electronic components on the planet, losing two major Apple contracts will certainly have a painful impact on its bottom line, and its reputation.