Japanese supplier Sharp is negotiating with Hon Hai Precision Industry — better known as Foxconn — on a deal that would see the former spin off its display panel business to create a new joint venture, according to a Monday report.
One of Apple's key display suppliers, Sharp, posted an annual net loss of $1.9 billion on Thursday and cast doubt on its ability to keep operating, although it will continue to live on in the short-term thanks to investments by banks.
Component manufacturer Japan Display on Friday officially unveiled plans for a new $1.4 billion display plant in central Japan, with Apple reportedly investing in the facility to secure supplies of advanced LCD panels for its products.
Apple's upcoming 12.9-inch iPad — commonly referred to as the "iPad Pro" — will make use of an oxide LCD, most popularly known as Sharp's IGZO display technology, a new report from the company's supply chain claims.
Despite numerous reports that Apple is employing next-generation IGZO display panels in its iPad lineup, a weekend revelation that the iPhone maker has monopolized the output of a Sharp facility not known to produce IGZO components throws those assertions into question.
Sharp, a key supplier of components that go into iPads and iPhones, lost $5.4 billion last year, prompting the Japanese display maker to increase its reliance on Apple's top rival, Samsung, in order to survive.
Apple's annual capital expenditures report came in $2.3 billion higher than anticipated, which has led one analyst to believe Apple could have put a significant amount of money into key but struggling supplier Sharp.
LCD maker Sharp Corp. has not yet started mass producing displays for Apple's next iPhone, prompting concerns of a component shortage ahead of the device's anticipated launch, according to a new report.