Apple Inc. (AAPL) has agreed to add Foxconn Technology Group affiliate Chimei Innolux Corp. (3481) as its third supplier of sensors for the iPad 2’s touch screen, two people familiar with the matter said.
Chimei Innolux will begin supplying the components next month, said the people, who declined to be identified because the details aren’t public. Taiwan’s TPK Holding Corp. and Wintek Corp. (2384) remain Apple’s key suppliers of the sensors that help the iPad tablet computer recognize finger movements, the people said.
The order may deepen Apple’s ties with billionaire tycoon Terry Gou’s Foxconn, the Taiwanese assembler of the iPad and iPhone. The iPad, the fastest-selling technology product in history as measured by revenue, will continue to dominate the global market for tablet computers, controlling more than three- fifths of the market next year, Gartner Inc. said this month.
Carolyn Wu, a Beijing-based spokeswoman for Apple, declined to comment, while Ron Lee at Wintek and Freddie Liu at Taipei- based TPK declined to comment on specific products or customers. Chimei Innolux continues to develop its touch-screen product line and expects to offer it to major customers, spokesman Eddie Chen said, declining to comment on specific clients.
Chimei Innolux shares had lost 24 percent this year as of yesterday amid falling prices for displays. The company was created last year through the merger of Foxconn’s Innolux Display Co., Chi Mei Optoelectronics Corp., and TPO Displays Corp.