MUNICH (Reuters) - Infineon Technologies AG is among suppliers for Apple Inc’s iPad tablet computer, pictures on a website showed, thwarting Apple’s efforts to keep its suppliers secret and potentially boosting the chipmaker’s earnings.
Infineon declined to comment on pictures of the iPad’s inner structure, which were published on www.wirelessgoodness.com/2010/04/02/teardown-update-apple-ipad-3g-chips-exposed/.
Apple bars its suppliers from talking about their famous customer.
Industry experts said Infineon could make about $10 per iPad sold.
Apple’s iPad -- a device between a smartphone and a laptop -- hit stores on Saturday in the United States. It will be sold in stores in Europe starting at the end of the month.
Apple hopes the sleek iPad joins the iPod and the iPhone in its stable of successful consumer products, providing the next driver of growth as sales of its multimedia player and smartphone begin to moderate.
An analysis by teardown firm Chipworks has already identified chips in the iPad from suppliers such as Cirrus Logic Inc, Atmel Corp, Linear Technology Corp, Intersil Corp and STMicroelectronics NV.
Luke Soules -- co-founder of teardown firm iFixit -- cracked the device open to unearth NAND flash memory by Samsung Electronics Co Ltd, an LCD display from LG Display Co Ltd and microchips from Broadcom Corp, Texas Instruments Inc and NXP Semiconductors Netherlands BV.
Teardown firms are hired by an array of clients, their data used for competitive intelligence, in patent disputes or to keep current on industry benchmarks.
Apple’s suppliers will admit in private that they love these teardowns by iFixit and others because they show a manufacturer is good enough to make components for an Apple product.
In late 2006, the mere rumour that a component by Skyworks Solutions Inc would be in the original iPhone was enough to boost its share price.
Reporting by Jens Hack; Editing by Erica Billingham and Gerald E. McCormick