In March 2013 we reported on news out of Taiwan that Hon Hai's Chairman Terry Gou secretly met with Apple executives earlier that month to discuss HDTV displays for Apple's future iTV. Flash forward, and today the Wall Street Journal is reporting that Hon Hai celebrated their fortieth anniversary today and Terry Gou told reporters on Sunday that they plan to relocate capital-intensive and high-tech manufacturing to the U.S., its largest market. More specifically, they're evaluating a plan to build an advanced TV display manufacturing plant.
With Apple's Arizona sapphire glass related plant being functional later this year, it's interesting that Hon Hai or Foxconn is now considering a display plant in the US. More intriguing is that Hon Hai is hinting that the plant would be able to churn out liquid display screens larger than 60 inches for televsions. Gou noted that it's currently difficult to ship large TV screens to the U.S. from Asia.
In 2012, Mr. Gou agreed to acquire a 50% stake in Sharp Corp.'s advanced panel-making plant in Sakai, Japan. So moving into the display market isn't just a pipe dream.
On Friday, Tim Cook refused to reveal in an ABC one-on-one interview what Apple intends to use their new Arizona sapphire plant for. Now with Gou all but confirming that they're to open an advanced display plant for televisions in the US within 48 hours of Cook's interview, it's bound to get many Apple HDTV enthusiasts fired up.
Could a new Hon Hai display plant in the US be for another Apple project beyond TV? Yes, of course. We reported yesterday that Foxconn successfully tested sapphire on 100 iPhones. So the plant could be marked to produce future iDevice displays with sapphire that could even include a new iWatch-like device.
At the end of the day, this new revelation is more of a "brain-twitcher" than anything else as it really leaves us in limbo. Is Hon Hai's plan for a new plant in the US really for advanced TV displays as Gou suggested? And more importantly, could this news directly translate into being for the manufacture of an HDTV from Apple? Only time will tell.
What are your thoughts on this news? Send in your comments below.