Foxconn to Push Sharp’s OLED Panels Business Forward

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Following Foxconn’s takeover of Sharp, the company will start shipping panels using advanced OLED materials next year, said Foxconn Chairman Terry Guo on Wednesday.

Industry insiders believe OLED will be integrated in iPhone displays in 2017, even though the iPhone assembler did not confirm whether Apple will use the new panels next year.

"We will be ready before 2018 and ship (OLED panels) to customers," Gou told reporters after the annual shareholders meeting on Wednesday.

The Taiwanese head did not mention whether Apple is one of its Sharp OLED clients, and did not mention whether the panels were for smartphones.

In early April 2016, Hon Hai or Foxconn Technology group, and its affiliates invested in total US $3.5 billion to acquire 66% stake in Sharp to develop advanced OLED technology. The company also secured its status as a major panel supplier for Apple in the future.

Sharp supplies LTPS panels to Apple, but it does not have OLED technology products in its lineup yet. Foxconn is said to be investing 200 billion yen to help Sharp develop the technology.

In May, Foxconn executive Tuan Hsing-chien told reporters that Sharp will ship OLED panels for smartphones in three years. Tuan used to be the chairman of Foxconn’s display affiliate, Innolux, and supervises the development of OLED technology at Sharp.

South Korea’s Samsung Electronics and LG Display are the two companies in the world that can mass produce OLED panels, and Apple signed an agreement with Samsung that will make it an OLED supplier. 

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