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Apple has coralled 60% of the world's touch panels capacity, delaying RIM's PlayBook launch

Posted: , by Daniel P.

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Apple has coralled 60% of the world's touch panels capacity, delaying RIM's PlayBook launch
Apple has secured the lion's share of the world's touchscreen panel production capacity for itself with various contracts, thus leaving the rest a little room for maneuvering, analysts say.

Cupertino proactively addressed the supply shortage expected after the Japanese earthquake by divesting to other suppliers, and eating up the manufacturing costs increase by prepaying for the touch panels.

This is reported to be one reason that the BlackBerry PlayBook launch is delayed. RIM's tablet was supposed to become widely available on April 19th for $499, but this will probably be pushed with a month. We will be at RIM's PlayBook event next week in New York, so we'll know if that's indeed true.

Apple has reportedly shelled out $3.9 billion in larger touch panel supply deals, which is the company's traditional way to secure priority shipments and discounts. Plus, Apple can afford it, with its $50 billion war chest.

source: AppleInsider

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posted on 08 Apr 2011, 05:40

1. andro (unregistered)


If apple doesn't brainwash susceptible public into buy their products they make sure the opposition can't have theirs on the market,as seen by this and all their senseless recent 'we're suing you' court cases against manufacturers with better tech.

And fanboys will continue to buy

posted on 08 Apr 2011, 05:58 1

2. TDroid21 (Posts: 70; Member since: 04 Apr 2011)


"apple has secured the LION's share.."

nice scheme from apple which wuold basically put teh competition in their hands and devour the touchscreen market..
Apple is finally showing it's true colors..

posted on 08 Apr 2011, 08:25

5. Super Android Evo (unregistered)


Yeah it seems as Apple is not playing nice. I hope there is FAIR competition out there, because FAIR competition leads to innovation. Let's hope there is nothing sinister about this Apple touch screen shopping spree they are undergoing! WE ALL WANT INNOVATION!

posted on 08 Apr 2011, 06:53 3

3. davecann2 (Posts: 460; Member since: 15 Mar 2011)


I think Apple Corp is acting more like a super heroes! They are trying to prevent the consumers from making a huge mistake by buying a mediocre touch screen device. Especially one like the BB Playbook.....lol

posted on 08 Apr 2011, 08:04 3

4. davecann2 (Posts: 460; Member since: 15 Mar 2011)


^^^^^^^^
Wow, cant anyone joke around anymore!

posted on 08 Apr 2011, 08:27 4

6. clevername (Posts: 1407; Member since: 11 Jul 2008)


God would you people listen to yourselves? Brainwashing? Scheming? This is a f*cking business!! this is capitalism! It aint nice. It ain't pretty. It's not fair or respectful! A business is only here to make money. You do that by selling a product and if you can fix it so more people buy your product than your competitions then you have succeeded. Now if you can fix it so your competition doesn't even get a product out you are king of the crop. This sort of this is a very common business strategy. Wal-mart runs smaller business out of town and forces mom and pops to close. This isn't an unfortunate side effect. A predator has eliminated competition!!
IT'S BUSINESS PEOPLE!!

posted on 08 Apr 2011, 08:55 2

7. Super Android Evo (unregistered)


Listen, what you described is called a monopoly. THAT IS BAD FOR BUSINESS. Every company wants to win but they still want some competition so innovation can move forward and help make them more money. If there was just 1 tablet in the market it would become stagnant & no innovation would happen. Competition is very healthy for the business model to move forward. We are just stating that is SEEMS like Apple is trying to monopolize the tablet market, that’s all. I am interested in the tech moving forward & having options, not just one. If we had it your way no tablet in the world would have flash because Apple would be the only game in town!

posted on 08 Apr 2011, 15:21

21. SavageLucy42 (Posts: 202; Member since: 24 Mar 2011)


I'm pretty sure if a business has a monopoly, they don't care about competition and innovation. If you want one (whatever the thing in question may be) you have to go through them.

Monopolies are good for the individual business but bad for consumers.

posted on 08 Apr 2011, 09:23 1

9. snowgator (Posts: 3159; Member since: 19 Jan 2011)


There are plenty of options. HTC, Samsung, Moto, Acer all have tablets. This is a direct result to the horror that was Japans disaster. All manufacturers of all electronics, including Apple, will feel this crunch over the next couple years. It is not as important as the lives destroyed. Relax, buying public. RIM and all other Companies will adjust.

posted on 08 Apr 2011, 18:27

28. cheetah2k (Posts: 737; Member since: 16 Jan 2011)


Business yes, and Anti Competitive by nature.

Apple should watch themselves.

posted on 08 Apr 2011, 08:55 1

8. Minosnz (unregistered)


although "it's business people" is a fair comment... and not really wanting to come across as an apple basher... but it does kinda look like it's anti-competion?

If Microsoft did something like that... surely you'd see Apple throwing their toys??

:)

posted on 08 Apr 2011, 10:34 1

10. clevername (Posts: 1407; Member since: 11 Jul 2008)


Please it's not a monopoly. Apple only secured 60%. Not 80, 90, or 100% far from a monopoly.

Also if microsoft did this it wouldn't even be news because this is how theyve operated for years! They have been doing this. Microsoft has a market share significantly higher than 60% no monopoly. And this isn't even talking about market share. It's talking about parts. Rim and the others just need to find better suppliers.

posted on 08 Apr 2011, 10:44

12. Super Android Evo (unregistered)


Dude Microsoft had been in court because they were so big like a monopoly. They split up the company & one of the side effects from the breakup was the XBOX was born. You really have no clue about what you are talking about. 60% is more than half the market. They need to be FAIR so it doesn't get to 80, 90, or 100% as you say. This is simple economics. Dude have a clue before you type something. Like we keep saying it LOOKS like Apple is playing dirty. Let's hope this is not the case. Competition breads INNOVATION. & please get your facts right!

posted on 08 Apr 2011, 10:37

11. clevername (Posts: 1407; Member since: 11 Jul 2008)


One last thing too. The very reason you say it's bad for business is exactly why it's good for business. Since apple is taking the resources of the major suppliers it'll force rim and the other competitors to find other suppliers. This means that smaller suppliers get a chance and get boosts. Get to become bigger. It also means MORE INNOVATION because these suppliers will be working to make better and cheaper products to sell to the manufacturers like rim and moto.

posted on 08 Apr 2011, 10:58

13. Super Android Evo (unregistered)


You just don't get it. Apple is getting the good quality stuff while everybody else get the leftovers. That is not boosting the INNOVATION. That is helping Apple's competitors make low quality products. Thus putting them out of business. Why can't you unserstand. Ok clevername whatever you say!

posted on 08 Apr 2011, 11:08 3

14. areyouserious (unregistered)


First off let me disclaim that I am not an apple fanboy by any means, though those with no semblance of rationality will probably accuse me anyway. Never owned an iphone, mac, ipad, and don't plan to. With that said, the comments on here are so far beyond reason that it's almost laughable.

I don't see this as anti-competition in the sense of anti-trust at all. The business world is by nature competitive (T-Mobile vs ATT, Verizon vs ATT commercials anyone?). However what Apple did was they looked at this disaster, forecasted the increase in manufacturing costs and shortages, and acted quickly by diversifying suppliers and securing prepaid contracts. That is just smart business, plain and simple. And it is not like they are just buying them to hoard them - they are the market leader in the market that THEY created - the tablet market, so they obviously need these parts to meet the demand of the ipad and ipad2. Say what you will about the reasons for Apple's success in recent years - fanboydom, form over function, evil sorcery, whatever - but there's no doubt that this kind of heads up, preemptive thinking is one of them.

NO business, HTC, Samsung, Microsoft, or whoever, if they had the same foresight Apple did, will sit down and say "hm, costs are probably gonna go up, and there will be shortages of the parts we need for our product, but I'll wait anyway in the spirit of competition." Think about how utterly ridiculous that is. That's not the way the market works or has worked, ever.

posted on 08 Apr 2011, 11:33 1

15. Super Android Evo (unregistered)


Dude you just don't sign a big job contract like that over night. This takes months to get iron out. Apple did this way before the disasters that are affecting Japan at this very moment even happened. This takes careful planning and it not done the way you say. If the business world was a simple as you make it. Apple SEEMS to be getting all the good stuff for themselves so no one can compete with them. Apple has high quality stuff while everybody else gets they low quality leftover stuff that Apple didn't want. That doesn't SEEM FAIR right!

posted on 08 Apr 2011, 11:56 4

17. areyouserious (unregistered)


First of all, let's not ignore the fact that the iPad started this tablet revolution, which is why it has a ridiculous market share, like 80-90% of it. Granted, you make a fair point that alot of the prepaid contracts were secured before Japan. However, their diversifying of suppliers most likely happened afterwards, as that's when it makes reasonable sense to have happened. However, given the fact that 1. Their product revolutionized the market, and 2. They have a LION's share of the market share, it makes sense they they've purchased a LION's share of the manufacturing parts. Competitors may be getting what you call "leftovers" (although I think that is oversimplifying the case), but that is because they are chasing after Apple. That has nothing to do with "fairness." The fact that this happens is just common sense.

Lastly, you seem to be touting that Apple is stifling competition, and thus stifling innovation. But guess what, who started the tablet market again? I seem to be repeating myself but - Apple.

posted on 08 Apr 2011, 12:59 2

18. Super Android Evo (unregistered)


There have been tablet PC years before Apple even coined the iPad. So you are wrong there. For someone not being an Apple fan boy you surely sound like one. I just hope that your Apple is playing fair. It's sucks that people can't jump and make a good product cause Apple has all the good stuff. Everyone is in delay while Apple keeps on chugging. It may not be what's happening but it awfully looks like it is! Remember this is how monopolies start, companies go on delay then they could never catch up thus the end of the product. History repeating itself just now in the tablet world. You & I will never truly understand Apple's motive so don't think that Apple can't do wrong cause then you are just a sucker. Remember the corporate world is a dirty world. Apple is not an innocent nor an honest company what so ever. There is no such perfect company. EVERY CORP has skeletons in their closet. REMEMBER THAT!

posted on 08 Apr 2011, 13:23 3

19. areyouserious (unregistered)


You are now seriously leading me to doubt the quality of your education. You bring up the fanboy card, as I guessed you would, but I hope it doesn't strike you as impossible that a person can recognize business smarts without being a biased fanboy. I can recognize how good of a player Michael Jordan is and how good the Chicago Bulls were in the early '90s without being a fan of the Chicago bulls.

Next, you want to nitpick the modern "tablet" with "tablet PCs" that people used to use with a stylus to write or draw on them years ago, fine. You got me there. But if you want to talk about "tablets" now, they are a completely different product than what they were defined as before, both in their form and their function.

You also fail to debate any of my arguments about market share and logic about securing parts proportionately to meet demand. But that's ok, I didn't expect you to.

Did I say that Apple was a perfect company? I don't recall ever saying that. Like I said, I'm not a fanboy, and I do think that they are capable of wrong. However from the information that has been given, I would argue that to extrapolate this is anything more than a smart business decision is more of a case of Android fanboydom, or Apple haterdom.

Lastly I want to break down your argument, which is self-admittedly not rooted in facts, ("it awfully looks like it is!" is not an argument). And it is easy to do so, because your argument is simple - it doesn't seem to be fair. Let's take it a step further - let's say it's not fair (I may or may not even agree that this is the case). So what? What IS fair in this world, nonetheless the business world? What company is fair? Is Microsoft and Apple patenting their OS systems fair? Is any kind of patent fair? Shouldn't they NOT patent it so that everyone has a fair chance to use new technology and thus produce more "innovation?"

The business world by nature induces those with successful products to have an advantage. I never said the mechanics of the business world were simple, but this principle is.

posted on 08 Apr 2011, 14:45

20. Super Android Evo (unregistered)


You talk about "ridiculous market share, like 80-90% of it." Naturally they would be because they are the only one doing it. Other people are TRYING to jump on board. Why is it so hard for anybody else to get going? Apple could very well be buying all the good stuff on purpose so no one can compete. You & I can't say yes or no. You sound like you are 100% sure of what is going down. All I am saying is that there is a possibility about this happening the way I think might be going down. "You are now seriously leading me to doubt the quality of your education." I can say the same about you cause you don't think it's plausible for what I say to be happening. Why is it so hard for you to at least to acknowledge that it could be very well happening if you are not biased. "You also fail to debate any of my arguments about market share and logic about securing parts proportionately to meet demand. But that's ok, I didn't expect you to." How did I do, I guess you didn't expect that!

posted on 08 Apr 2011, 15:41

22. DroidMePlease (Posts: 12; Member since: 08 Apr 2011)


You're showing some signs of hope of being a rational person, but you're not quite there yet.

"You talk about "ridiculous market share, like 80-90% of it." Naturally they would be because they are the only one doing it. Other people are TRYING to jump on board. Why is it so hard for anybody else to get going? Apple could very well be buying all the good stuff on purpose so no one can compete. You & I can't say yes or no. You sound like you are 100% sure of what is going down. All I am saying is that there is a possibility about this happening the way I think might be going down."

There isn't anything I find faulty with your statement here. Of course I don't know their motives, and I am not pretending to. I actually never denied that possibility, but what I am saying is that that is a very narrow lens with which to view this transaction. But you seem to be decrying something that is very commonplace in the market and happens every day.
I'll grant you this, that it does make it harder for other people to get going. But guess what? Patents on new technology make it very hard for everyone else to get going. Shall we cry about that too? Attracting more investors and strategically setting up more retail locations to have a larger market presence makes it harder for competitors to get going. Should we cry about that too?

Look, capitalism is about competition. Companies don't compete for competing's sake, they compete to be the best, have the most market share they can, and the most profit they can. That's the way it is, whether we like it or not. From a purely transactional standpoint, what they did is competing, but you seem to think it's cheating. However, given the fact that any other supplier could have gotten these contracts in earlier than Apple but didn't because they didn't have a product does not make me pity them in the least.

Look, I'm not debating or even defending Apple's integrity as a company. What my statement is ultimately is that their purchasing of a significant amount of supply is very logical and is something you would see from any manufacturer if they were in the same position Apple is in the market.

Lastly, let's look at the numbers shall we? If Apple has 80-90% of the market share of tablets, logically, and not out of competitive preemption, they should be purchasing 80-90% of the manufacturing parts on the market. I know this is an oversimplification, but bear with me. How is it then, that buying 60% of the parts such a fuss? Look at HP, Acer, ASUS, HTC, Motorola... these are not small companies and possess enough capital to have made the same contracts. Why is it Apple's fault that they made it first?

It took you another post after I reminded you to debate the argument, and yes while I'm surprised you actually did take time to think about it, I'm not surprised at your response.

posted on 08 Apr 2011, 15:59

23. Super Android Evo (unregistered)


I know what Capitalism is. I know what patents are. What do they have to do with the possibility of Apple buying all the good stuff. you are comparing Apple's (no pun intended) to oranges. You STILL have not acknowledged what Apple could very well indeed be playing dirty. I keep repeating myself. I don't need the lessons on Capitalism & Patents all I am saying it that Apple could be doing something sinister. I am not saying that Apple is cheating, I am saying that it is plausible for them to be buying all the good stuff on purpose so other companies big & small can have a very hard time competing. Can you at least hear where I am coming from, cause I hear you loud & clear!

posted on 08 Apr 2011, 16:24

25. DroidMePlease (Posts: 12; Member since: 08 Apr 2011)


Way to ignore everything and focus on a single point, which seems to be becoming a trend. Sorry, I overestimated your ability to wholistically evaluate an argument, or even multiple points individually. So I'll play your game and put it simply.

You said:

"You STILL have not acknowledged what Apple could very well indeed be playing dirty."

As a matter of fact, I did. this is what I said:

"There isn't anything I find faulty with your statement here. Of course I don't know their motives, and I am not pretending to. I actually never denied that possibility, but what I am saying is that that is a very narrow lens with which to view this transaction."

If you understand the meaning of those words, then you understand that I acknowledge that "playing dirty," as you describe it, is within the realm of possibility of motives for which Apple is undertaking these business transactions. As a matter of fact I don't think you understand your own words very well either. You say "Apple could very well indeed be playing dirty" but then say "I am not saying that Apple is cheating."

Let me quote you once more out of hope that you might understand me this last time, though I doubt it.

You say:
"I am saying that it is plausible for them to be buying all the good stuff on purpose so other companies big & small can have a very hard time competing."

Like I said before, I acknowledged that this "could" be a possibility, just like there "could" be an earthquake 5 seconds from now, no one knows (and thus why even speculate, but we're past the point of no return by now). They key word is " *so* other companies..." That *so* implies that that is the main motivation for their behavior - to play dirty, or whatever your vocabulary is for not playing fair. However, as I've tried in futility to help you understand, a company with as much market share in the tablet market as Apple HAS to purchase a lion's share of parts in order to keep up consistent production to meet demand. So dirty motives or not, this is what logically happens in the market.

If anything, why aren't we decrying the suppliers, who can't produce enough for the rest? Before it was just Apple, so their supply was fine so they could meet demand and that's how they adjusted production. But now aren't they are the ones who should adapt to more players on the market and make more parts to supply everyone who wants them? I don't feel strongly about this, but some food for thought, if you can somehow fit it in.

I actually hear you loud and clear as well, the problem is I don't understand it. Are you just looking for someone to commiserate with you and say "poor competitors?"

posted on 08 Apr 2011, 17:10

26. Super Android Evo (unregistered)


Apple bought every screen to create the demand. It could very well be true or not, we just don't know. Is Apple not playing nice we just don't know. A company can buy things so there are shortages just to create a demand. We just don't know. "However, as I've tried in futility to help you understand, a company with as much market share in the tablet market as Apple HAS to purchase a lion's share of parts in order to keep up consistent production to meet demand" There was no demand until Apple started buying in bulk. Companies do these things just to hype their products. Now there is a demand, why do you think this article was posted in the first place, what it's to say there are plenty of touch screens in the world. I don't think so. Is Apple really buying their screens to meet the demand or to create the demand? WE JUST DON'T KNOW!!! "you might understand me this last time, though I doubt it."

posted on 08 Apr 2011, 17:55

27. DroidMePlease (Posts: 12; Member since: 08 Apr 2011)


It seems like your point changes every time, and as this is the first time you've taken issue with this point, your misplaced quote does not apply. But I'll entertain you.

We have to differentiate the demand for tablet products that use the screen, and the demand for the screens themselves, though they are related. Apple bought the screens, creating the majority of demand, because 80-90% of the market is "demanding" the Apple product. It is the consumers who have to first create the demand for the product, which forces a demand for the manufacturing part. How on earth was "there was no demand until Apple started buying in bulk?" Say what you want about Apple's possible dirty motives, but now we're getting into the realm of flawed of Microeconomics (economics happened to be my area of study in UC Berkeley, with mathematics, and thus I take personal offense to the travesty of misunderstanding). There is little ambuigity about the strong demand for these products - the sales numbers are very clear.

But instead of leaving this open ended this time, let me ask, what kind of answer are you looking for? We already have come to terms that there exists a possibility of Apple playing dirty, and now you seem to want to make a point that there exists a possibility of artificially inflating demand. So I'll say fine - ANYTHING can happen and may be happening - just like facebook MAY be planning to take over the world and plant chips in our brains. But it's up to you to use common sense knowledge of what happens in business and economics to infer what is most likely the case.

posted on 08 Apr 2011, 22:19

29. Super Android Evo (unregistered)


Ok Mr. UC Berkeley, you know microeconomics. Fine good for you. I am glad. Microeconomics can't help you find out if Apple indeed is or is not intentionally buying the screens to make a shortage so other companies like RIM need to push or delay their tablets. Take it from me Mr. NYU that you don't know if this is or is not happening. I dig your lesson in microeconomics it was informative, but it has nothing to do with what I am saying. Look we just don't know. That is all I am & will say. You Mr. UC Berkeley & me Mr. NYU we BOTH don't know. Your microeconomics class didn't explain if Apple is doing this on purpose or not. I like you, you are a cool kat.

posted on 09 Apr 2011, 01:34

31. DroidMePlease (Posts: 12; Member since: 08 Apr 2011)


So your NYU degree taught you that you can't know anything and that you can't make informed inferences using common sense. Point taken.

posted on 08 Apr 2011, 16:01

24. Super Android Evo (unregistered)


Thanks for the thumbs down! I will register too so I can do the same. I guess.

posted on 11 Apr 2011, 20:36

36. gaby1451 (Posts: 111; Member since: 30 Mar 2011)


Wow!

Good stuff people, good stuff. Keep it up with the debates! areyouserious, you should register so I can keep up with your comments. You have good insight into the logical aspect of business and tech.

posted on 08 Apr 2011, 11:38

16. davecann2 (Posts: 460; Member since: 15 Mar 2011)


FInally... A decent no bias post!

I agree 100% with your comment.

posted on 09 Apr 2011, 01:27 1

30. teh turdanator (unregistered)


I think the suggestions above may be too critical in assuming this was done with cynical intentions. While Apple may have purchased the primary portion of the market, it can be assumed they also control a relative percentage of the "touch-screen-product" market. It could simply be misconceived they are making power moves to horde resources. Instead it could simply be preparation for next-gen production and/or warranty service supplies. I have not done any research (because I do not care for Apple products) but I have been hearing talk of the iPhone 5 being released this summer. The purchase may be it's prelude for the iPhone 5. The iPhone's entrance to Verizon bloomed it's audience. A repercussion is then to prepare for greater demand in services and products. This dominance could also be shortly lived. A spike in investments will more than likely deteriorate into little participation in the market for a period. It may not have been done not to dominate the market but simply take advantage of a price that would only increase.

Apples competitors that are winded could possibly take advantage of improvements in organic, 3d, more durable, or more power efficient screens. While I admit its an audacious proposal such technologies are potential candidates for a response to a inadequate supply, they have been showing interesting progress.

DISCLAIMER
I personally favor the portion of the market running freeware operating systems. Companies like apple and Microsoft are cancerous rather than beneficial in progression of computing in many aspects that are charged by corporate greed. I cannot honestly say I take this as a legitimate threat to the market. If anything the shitty mid grade "smart phones" (and I use that term loosely) will be fished out of shelves and companies will put more emphasis on a smaller group of products; resulting in over all benefits.

If you were to ask me if it was only done with innocent objectives I would have to deny apple of the benefit of doubt. Sorry, but this wouldn't be the first time Apple jumped at a chance to scream "fuck you" to its competition. I just feel that no matter what situation you must consider all possibilities. It's only fair.

posted on 09 Apr 2011, 01:37

32. DroidMePlease (Posts: 12; Member since: 08 Apr 2011)


I feel like you said what Mr. Android Evo up there was trying to say except you can actually articulate your thoughts and points clearly. Good points.

posted on 09 Apr 2011, 01:59

33. clevername (Posts: 1407; Member since: 11 Jul 2008)


I think the thing that makes mr android evo's statements completely irrelevant is that he is trying to state that apple is stifling competition by buying the best parts. If this were true they would be putting the best touchscreens on their devices. Now while I believe they are putting the best display in the iPhone and iPod touch this is definitely not the case with the iPad. Most manufacturers do not use the same kind of ips LCD display as apple. Oled, amoled, samoled, and qhd screens are the weapons of choice for apples competitors, for the most part anyway. Apple has not taken any stake in amoled displays and qhd is still inferior to retina. HTC and samsung use amoled. Their not worried. Moto is starting to use qhd and use gorilla glass also. So no worries there.

Apples largest competitors in the touchscreen market use different displays and display technology so apple is not taking anything away from them at all mr. Android EVO. I believe your argument is now even more invalid

posted on 09 Apr 2011, 09:04

35. Super Android Evo (unregistered)


What about RIM, this post states that RIM is directly affected by Apple. So how is that invalid. Do you know if Apple did this on purpose to affect RIM, because I don't. You can't say that this was done on purpose or not. I am sorry that you think my point is invalid. Because I don't know I can't say your point is invalid. But I guess you know so you can clearly say my point is invalid................ ok!

posted on 09 Apr 2011, 08:55

34. Super Android Evo (unregistered)


I am sorry my ability to articulate my thoughts are now up to par with your standards. Now you can understand what I have been trying to say because someone can articulate it in a manner to your liking. I thought we were speaking English, but if you like I can tell you in Spanish, or Italian. If you give me a month or so I can even tell you in Japanese. I was just playing devils advocate. All of us as smart individuals can't refute in anyway if Apple did this in good spirits or not. It's that clear & cut. Apple has their intentions, we will never know them. That is why we need to be fair in judgement across all possibilities. Again because we just don't know.

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