New iPad Could Help, Hinder Asian Players

Apple Inc.’s latest iPad is a mixed blessing for many of Asia’s electronic companies, which stand to benefit from a surge in demand for components but will see their already battered ambitions to make their own tablets challenged further.

Companies from South Korea’s Samsung Electronics Co. and LG Display Co. to Japan’s Toshiba Corp. supply key components such as memory chips and flat-screens used in the iPad. But LG Display’s parent company, LG Electronics Inc., as well as Samsung and Toshiba compete with Apple in the burgeoning tablet space with their own devices.

If the new version of the iPad launched Wednesday is as successful as the original version, these component makers stand to benefit from an increase in sales, analysts say. But their profit margins could slip in tablets given their late entry into the market and because more devices are being launched this year, intensifying competition.

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