Mix: iPad screens, Samsung expansion, H-W suit, VP exit

Apple has reached a deal with AU Optronics for the latter to supply large amounts of flat panel displays for the iPad 2, according to a new report. Without citing any sources, the Economic Daily News reports that Apple offered three to four times the going rate for the displays, but has managed to secure half of the company’s fifth-generation plant’s capacity, and due to Apple’s rigorous quality demands, the yield rate is only expected to reach 60-70 percent.

Samsung is set to hire 300 engineers and technicians as part of a $3.6 billion expansion of its Austin, TX plant. According to the EE Times, the decision to expand the plant, which previously only made NAND flash memory chips, was made last year. The plant will now also produce logic devices as well, with Apple said to be the primary customer, suggesting that the plant may house production facilities for future versions of Apple’s mobile processors. [via MDN]

Apple is among a group of companies named in a lawsuit by H-W Technology. H-W is claiming that Apple, along with a host of other companies that includes Amazon, Google, Microsoft, Motorola, Nokia, RIM, Samsung, and Verizon, infringes on a patent entitled “Internet Protocol (IP) Phone with Search and Advertising Capability,” which the company claims covers smartphones. H-W is seeking a permanent injunction against the companies, as well as damages.

Allison Johnson, Apple’s vice president of worldwide marketing communications, is leaving the company, according to a new report. Citing several unnamed sources, AllThingsD reports that Johnson will be leaving her post sometime during the summer to co-found a new marketing and communications firm with former Facebook PR executive Brandee Barker. Johnson has held her position at Apple since 2005, and previously worked for HP.

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