While Taiwanese suppliers AU Optronics and Chimei Innolux are looking to win Apple's confidence, Sony and Samsung are already way ahead. The iPhone maker is looking for suppliers capable to deliver thin touch-panels based on in-cell technology for its next iPhone.
Sony Mobile Display started mass production for in-cell touch display since the beginning of this year. IHS Displaybank senior analyst, Stone, is confident that the Japanese company is ready to supply displays for the next generation iPhones.
Sony could face competition from other Japanese companies, Sharp Corp and Toshiba Mobile Display, who are expected to start production for smartphone panels later this month. LG is also looking to find its way into Apple's partners list.
For some of the players on the display market, it might be too late to tap into Apple's supply chain. "Even for those companies that start mass production in May, they can only reach an average yield of 65 to 70 percent at present," Wu said.
The display panels based on in-cell touch technology are expected to be a key component in the upcoming Apple devices. In-touch panels could make future generation iPhones and iPads much thinner and lighter, compared to current models.