The future of AU Optronics, Apple’s supplier for iPad mini panels, is now uncertain, according to Digitimes. As consumer demand has slowly dropped in the second quarter, the supplier expects shipments to fall to as few as 2.8 million units, a 30% drop compared to 4 million panels shipped in the first quarter.
AUO’s drop in the second quarter will also come as overall shipments for the iPad mini are expected to drop around 20-30% on quarter to around 10 million units largely due to the time period traditionally being a slow purchasing period for consumers. The remaining seven million panels for the device are expected to come from LG Display, said the sources.
If AUO doesn’t resolve the issues it has faced recently while producing iPad mini panels for Apple, it could lose a major client. The Cupertino, California company is expected to gear up production for the second-generation 7.9-inch tablet, and AUO needs Apple’s certification to retain its position as the major supplier.
AUO has already submitted panels to Apple for use in the second-generation iPad mini, sources say, but so far only LG and Sharp has received the tech giant’s certification to be panel supplier for the anticipated 7.9-inch tablet.