Apple may invest $1 billion in Sharp LCD plant, report says

By on August 17, 2011, 3:00 PM

Apple may be looking to invest as much as $1 billion in Japanese corporation Sharp in an effort to secure a stable supply of LCD screens for iPhones and iPads. Reuters reports that Apple is looking to diversify suppliers as court battles with Samsung Electronics heat up across the globe.

MF Global FXA Securities analyst David Rubenstein thinks it is highly likely that Apple will invest in Sharp’s Kameyama plant and that the move would have a material impact on Sharp’s profitability.

"An investment could lead to more ties between Apple and the suppliers to Sharp and Toshiba," said Shuzo Takada, a director of the Japanese trade ministry's industrial revitalization division. "At a time when Japan faces the threat of a hollowing out of industry, this is encouraging."

The news seems to fit chronological order as yesterday it was reported that the iPad 3 was being delayed due to poor Retina display yields, namely from Samsung and LG Display.

News of the investment could be interpreted as contradictory to the report from yesterday since the latter indicated that Sharp was Apple’s primary display provider. Some believe that today’s news indicates that Apple is looking to diversify suppliers while others think it’s simply an action to decrease dependence on Samsung.

This isn’t the first time we have heard news of Apple investing in Sharp. Late last year a similar story broke regarding an investment in Sharp’s Mie Prefecture plant to produce LCD panels for the iPhone. Apple blog MacRumors reported on a story in April that claims Sharp has been tabbed as the display manufacturer for the sixth-generation iPhone due in 2012.




User Comments: 11

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JohnnyNonStop said:

Invest in Japan! I loves them guys over there!

Mindwraith said:

Hopefully a $1 billion investment will give a little shot to the economy over there, even if just for the local area around the factory.

Guest said:

I'd just stick with the two big players Samsung and LG, but I'm not sure if LCD is worth investing too much in considering it's being phased out especially in mobile devices. If I were apple I'd go crying to Samsung right about now.

Burty117 Burty117, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

iPhone is in its Sixth Generation? Really?

I thought it went a bit like this:

iPhone(1) iPhone3G(2) iPhone3GS(3) iPhone4(4)

Or do Apple really work on the next - next phone? and decide who will be producing the parts??

Leeky Leeky said:

I'd imagine they're two steps ahead of the current model, as design and parts sourcing takes time. You'd essentially end up with 1 on the market, 1 in testing phase, and one in design phase, which would make a lot of sense in my mind. Whether thats true or not I don't know, but any other way could essentially catch them with their pants down.

Burty117 Burty117, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

Aahh! Sorry, I'm tired and wasn't thinking

captaincranky captaincranky, TechSpot Addict, said:

Oh goody, now I can vehemently hate two companies I'll never buy anything from, in one gigantic malicious thought.

Tekkaraiden Tekkaraiden said:

Meh why not, they have the money and I'm sure Sharp could use the cash infusion.

Guest said:

What about investing in the USA for a change? Sure Japan is hurting and could use the help, but we have very talented people unemployed here as well. Come on Apple think of the people in your biggest market. No jobs = no income = no Apple sales.

Just a thought.

63Jax said:

loool, they are afraid now because Samsung may not sell them LCDs from now on. why did they started a "war" with Samsung only God knows! Dumb asses...

9Nails, TechSpot Paladin, said:

burty117 said:

iPhone is in its Sixth Generation? Really?

I thought it went a bit like this:

iPhone(1) iPhone3G(2) iPhone3GS(3) iPhone4(4)

Or do Apple really work on the next - next phone? and decide who will be producing the parts??

I think iPhone 5 is coming out this year, possible September I've heard. So its plans would be final and put to manufacturing about now. Leaving the 6th and next generation of iPhone under design and material analysis.

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