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Apple adds third supplier of iPad 2 touchscreen components

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Chimei Innolux Corp. is joining TPK Holding Corp. and Wintek Corp. as the third provider of touch panel sensors for the Apple iPad 2. Chimei will begin supplying the panels next month, Bloomberg said. TPK and Wintek will still be the primary suppliers of the touch panels, but Chimei's contribution will help Apple meet the growing demand for its popular tablet device.

Demand for the iPad 2 is "amazing," Apple's spokesperson Trudy Miller said. The tablet device flew off retail store shelves when it launched earlier this year, and demand has been high ever since. Despite being available in several retail channels including Toys R Us, Wal-Mart and Best Buy, the iPad 2 is still difficult to find in stores, and the wait time for online orders is still 2-3 weeks.

Incidentally, this deal with Chimei will help solidify Apple's position with Foxconn, the primary assembler of the iPhone and iPad. Chimei was formed last year when Foxconn-owned Innolux Display merged with Chi Mei Optoelectronics Corp. and TPO Displays Corp.

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