Citing sources close to the matter, The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) said that Sharp’s eighth-generation (8G) plant in Kameyama, Japan will be used to manufacture the panels for the tablet, and claimed that Apple will also invest an unspecified figure in facilities at Sharp’s panel manufacturing facilities in Japan.
Sharp produces liquid crystal display (LCD) panels for tablets, TVs, smartphones and has already supplied panels to Apple for its iPhone 4S, according to various rumours. The company has recently been shifting production from larger to smaller displays, due to the on-going struggles in the TV market.
Although Apple has a variety of panel suppliers for the iPad, the move to contract Sharp is believed to be have taken to effectively replace Samsung Electronics, which had been producing panels for Apple.
However, as Apple and Samsung are currently engaged in a number of lawsuits in regard to patent violations, it is not known if Samsung will continue to make panels for Apple in the future.