While the likes of Apple and Amazon might be running the tablet show right now, it's important to keep in mind the supply chain partners that are reaping the rewards as well.
LG is one of those partners benefiting greatly thanks to the enormous success of tablets such as the iPad, Kindle Fire and Barnes & Noble's Nook.
According to a report from market intelligence firm IHS iSuppli, LG Display is now the world’s top supplier of media tablet screens primarily because it is the main supplier of display panels for these models.
Vinita Jakhanwal, senior manager of small and medium displays at IHS, commented in the report about LG's competitive advantage.
Apple, Amazon, and Barnes & Noble have very different offerings in the media tablet market—but they all depend on LG Display because of its advanced in-plane switching (IPS) display technology. LG Display’s amorphous silicon LCD panels utilizing IPS technology offer faster response speeds, wide viewing angles up to 179 degrees, and no after image—all while consuming 30 percent less power than conventional LCDs.
As of December 2011, LG Display controlled 51 percent of global unit shipments in the second quarter of 2011. Samsung followed in second place with 35 percent, while Chimei Innolux Corp. rounded out the top three with 9 percent. Coincidentally, the latter two are also Apple supply chain partners.
The remaining five percent of the puzzle is dedicated to other manufacturers. But IHS analysts warned about the difficulties challengers are already facing, such as meeting "demanding specifications for size, pixel format, power consumption and response time."
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