According to a Korean reporter, Apple has signed a deal with Samsung to purchase 3 million more 9.7 inch touch screen displays for their iPad device. The deal is worth $240 million, with each of the screens costing around $80—five times as much as the iPhone and iPod Touch displays. The reasoning behind this deal is most likely to give Apple some wiggle room should supply shortages or problems occur. Until now, Apple was getting these displays solely from a company known as LG Display, who holds a $800 million deal with Apple for displays, due to their in-plane switching technology. However, Samsung did agree to boost development of their screen that allows for a nice, 178 degree viewing angle.
This deal brings the total number of available iPads on order to 13 million, and is also good news for the market in general. By going to more than one supplier, Apple is not only safeguarding themselves against potential supply issues, they are also increasing competition in the market. This, in turn, brings down wholesale prices for Apple and, eventually, consumers.
The wait until April 3rd is in single digits now, folks!