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Foxconn/Sharp may boost Kantatsu stake to win more iPhone camera lens orders from Apple

Foxconn-owned Sharp is likely to increase its investment in a Japanese lens module maker, Kantatsu, in a bid to win iPhone orders away from Taiwan's Largan Precision, a report said on Thursday.

Sharp president Tai Jeng-wu recently sent a letter to workers arguing that the company should vertically integrate its camera module business by way of investments and outright purchases of manufacturers and equipment, according to Nikkei, quoted by DigiTimes. At the moment, Sharp already owns a 44 percent stake in Kantatsu.

Apple is said to have provided Kantatsu with equipment upgrades earlier this year, potentially putting it in an ideal position to claim more orders.

Foxconn is Apple's main assembly partner, and its takeover of Sharp is thought to have been made partly with the idea of bringing Apple display orders in-house.

Next year's flagship iPhone, though, will reportedly use curved OLED panels manufactured partly or entirely by Samsung Display. Sharp has been working on boosting its OLED capacity, but likely won't have enough to meet Apple demands until 2018.