Is the Honeymoon Over for This Apple Supplier?

Radiant Opto-Electronics, a Taiwanese maker of Backlit Units (BLUs) for Apple’s (NASDAQ:AAPL) iPad, who was so far having it good due to yield rate problems of flat panel manufacturers LG (AMEX:LGL) and Sharp, may have to settle for considerably lower shipments in the second half of 2012, when LG and Sharp are expected to get their act together.

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Radiant is a partner of Samsung, which supplied almost 97 percent of the flat panels for the iPad in Q1 of 2012 due to the aforementioned problems at competitors LG and Sharp. This meant that Radiant, similarly, shipped almost all of the BLUs in that quarter.

In the second half, LG and Sharp are expected to get over the yield problem, and therefore boost their shipments. However, they are unlikely to source BLUs from Radiant – LG may source form Korean company Heesung Electronics, while Sharp may buy from Minebea.

With mounting speculation that LG and AU Optronics may be supplying flat panels for the much-anticipated iPad mini, it is likely that AUO may in fact source BLUs from its own subsidiary, Forhouse.

These factors are expected to adversely impact Radiant’s market share – it may fall from 77 percent in 2011 to 62 percent in 2012.

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