Foxconn-Sharp to Make OLED Panels in China

Foxconn and its newly acquired Japanese subsidiary Sharp might be making OLED panels for smartphone makers in China by 2019, a Nikkei report cited those familiar with the matter saying.

The Foxconn-Sharp alliance is preparing ahead of U.S.-based Apple’s adoption of thin flexible OLED display panels that it plans to use in next generation iPhones, possibly as early as 2017.

In late September, a Bloomberg report noted Apple had sought Sharp as a potential OLED panel supplier as the Cupertino-based company sought to diversify its OLED screen suppliers.

The OLED panels could replace LCD panels.

The Foxconn-Sharp alliance intends to invest 200 billion Japanese Yen (US $1.92 billion) to mass produce the OLED panels. A prototype line is being built at the Sakai plant in Japan’s Osaka Prefecture.

Initially, they planned to build the OLED panels mass production line in Japan, but currently prefers China because of potential financial subsidies from the Chinese government that might help lower investment costs, said sources.

However, the alliance will be expected to invest more than 100 billion yen.

It is believed the alliance would still have to invest more than 100 billion yen into a plant that might be constructed in one of China’s coastal areas.

The alliance hopes that the competitive OLED panel division will turn around Sharp’s business.

Additionally, the final assembly and inspection processes, the Foxconn-Sharp alliance might consider utilizing another Foxconn group display subsidiary Innolux plants in China.

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