Supply of iPad 5 panels back on track after constraints resolved


CNA

TAIPEI — Panel supply constraints that have slowed production of Apple Inc.’s fifth-generation iPads have been resolved through an improving yield rate and the addition of a new supplier, according to a research note by Hong Kong-based CLSA Ltd.

Ahead of Apple’s expected unveiling of the iPad 5 at an Oct. 22 event in the United States, only 1.5 million sets of non-panel components for the iPad5 were shipped in September in reaction to the limited availability of displays, CLSA said.

The brokerage expected the number of component sets shipped in October to surge to 3 million to 4 million as panel supply improves.

“We believe the panel supply issues will ease this month due to LG Display’s improving yield rates and new supply from Samsung,” Skye Chen, an analyst at CLSA’s Taipei branch, wrote in a note to clients dated Oct. 16.

The supply chain is expecting component and panel shipments for the device to rise by 14 percent and 8 percent in 2013, respectively, as CLSA expects strong sales of the iPad 5 in the fourth quarter, Chen said.

As a result, Chen gave Taiwan-based backlight supplier Radiant Opto-Electronics Corp. a “buy” rating on and raised its price target to NT$128 (US$4.36) from NT$103.10, thanks to a possible increase in backlight-module shipments for the iPad 5 and a higher operating margin.

She also kept her “buy” rating for Casetek Holdings Ltd., a Taiwanese metal casing manufacturer, and raised the stock’s target price slightly to NT$178.5 from NT$178.4 to reflect the postponed iPad5 shipments prior to the fourth quarter.

Radiant shares closed 0.9 percent higher at NT$112.50 Friday in Taipei, and Casetek shares edged up 1.67 percent at NT$152. The broader market index rose 0.79 percent.

Tech website AllThingsD.com reported earlier this month that Apple will launch the regular 9.7-inch iPad 5 and smaller iPad mini 2 on Oct. 22 to cash in on the traditional year-end holiday shopping boom.

In addition to new iPads, Apple will also release updated versions of the Mac Pro line of desktop computers and new Mac operating system OS X Mavericks on the same occasion, according to AllThingsD.com.