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Friday, December 17, 2010, 09:00 am PT (12:00 pm ET)

Sharp, Apple partnering to build $1.2B LCD plant - report

Days after a story claiming Apple and Toshiba were going to partner to build an LCD factory was emphatically denied, a new report now claims that Apple is instead partnering with Sharp to build a $1.2 billion facility.

On Monday, a report surfaced that claimed Apple and Toshiba were working together on a new LCD plant. However, a Toshiba spokesman later called the report "untrue," and said nothing was decided.

On Friday, Japan's Nikkei business daily newspaper reported a second time that Apple will partner with another company for LCD manufacturing, but this time the company is Sharp. It said that Apple will be responsible for a "large portion" of the 100 billion yen, or $1.2 billion, facility, and the iPhone maker will buy "most" of the panels produced by Sharp.

"Sharp will start installing equipment next year at Mie Prefecture plant and mass production is slated to begin in the later half of 2012," a summary of the report done by Reuters translates.

The new production lines will allegedly manufacture small and mid-size LCD panels, and Apple is said to purchase the bulk of the displays for the iPhone. It also stated that Toshiba plans to build an Ishikawa Prefecture factory to boost supplies to Apple as well.