Equipment Shortages Pushes Back Sharp’s OLED Production

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Sharp might be adjusting its OLED panel production plan, and move the production plant in Taiwan to a joint venture factory with Foxconn in Japan, reported Nikkei Asian Review.

The joint venture with Foxconn is a 10th generation display factory operated by Sakai Display Product (SDP) in Sakai city in Osaka, Japan.

Foxconn initially planned to invest JYP 200 billion (US $) in OLED displays after acquiring Sharp, and was going to roll out mass production by 2018.

Difficulty in acquiring needed OLED equipment and displays has pushed back Foxconn’s OLED production time table.

Moreover, state-backed Japan Display Inc. (JDI) is also considering to mass produce OLED displays, and with Korean manufacturers scaling up investments in OLED, it will be increasingly difficult for Sharp to acquire the needed equipment, reported Nikkei.

If Sharp is unable to complete its OLED production capacity before its competitors, it will lag far behind in the OLED competition.

It has recently been rumored that Apple will be using curved OLED displays in premium smartphone models in 2017, which has accelerated OLED display suppliers R&D and mass production. It is rumored a Foxconn’s R&D institute in Japan will be disbanded, and staff will be transferred to SDP.

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