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Apple spending on displays 'to double in 2012'

IHS predicts surging iPad sales will see Apple spend $9bn on displays

Apple will spend $9bn on displays in 2012, nearly double the amount it spent in 2011, research firm IHS has predicted.

This will be largely driven by surging iPad sales, the company said, with the display technology required for the yet-to-be-announced iPad 3 likely to be much more expensive than that used in previous iPads.

IHS also believes that Apple will see a 69 percent surge in iPad and iPhone shipments in 2012, meaning it will need to spend a lot more on displays than the $4.7bn it spent in 2011 and the $2bn spent in 2010.

"Apple in 2011 had already established itself as a major purchaser of displays for smart phones and media tablets," said Vinita Jakhanwal, senior manager for small & medium displays at IHS.

"However, combined with continuing strong sales growth of the iPhone, the arrival of the new-model iPad will put Apple's display-purchasing growth into overdrive in 2012. Along with the high volumes of expected sales, the use of more advanced technology will boost revenue for the iPad screens, increasing Apple's display expenditures dramatically."

Sharp, Samsung and LG are thought to be Apple's display suppliers for the next-generation iPad and manufacturing problems at Sharp's Gen 8 fab in Kameyama, Japan could lead to a scarcity of displays, pushing their price up, IHS said.

"Apple is likely to incur a significant price premium for using the higher-resolution display in the new iPad. However, manufacturers are expected to grant discounts, especially because Apple, in all likelihood, has made investments in display makers like LG, Sharp and Toshiba Mobile Display. By investing in its partners, Apple not only can mitigate these costs to a degree, but it also can be assured of the availability and quality of the displays," Jakhanwal said.

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