Apple has already secured 60 percent of the world’s touch-screen panels in 2011, a move that could make its competitors such as RIM and HP struggle in obtaining touch-screen panels for their devices, said a media report.

Apple has already prepaid an amount of $3.9 billion to the key manufacturers, Wintek and TPK, towards procurement of touch-screen panels over a long period of time, reported Top News quoting Eamerging.

By signing long-term contracts with the touch-screen manufacturers, Apple will be able to control pricing of its products, said the report.

Apple’s move will now intensify the competition among its competitors such as Motorola, HP and RIM in securing remaining 40 percent of touch-screen panels, resulting in rise in prices for the panels.

Also, Apple has placed a $7.8 billion order for key components used in hand-held devices from Samsung Electronics Co. for this year, to plug any loopholes in its supply chain to avert shortages, WSJ reported.

Apple has lined up key products like its next version of iPad and iPhone 5. iPad 2 is due this April while iPhone 5 is expected to arrive by June this year.

In July 2010, Reuters had reported that LG Display was not able to meet Apple's growing demand for LCD displays fueled by the demand for its tablet iPad as well.

DigiTimes had reported in December that LG Display will land an estimated 35 million iPad panels order in 2011 while Samsung and Chimei Innolux will each receive orders for 15 million units. It estimated that iPad shipments will reach 65 million units in 2011.