In September Patently Apple posted a report titled "Sharp may Tag-Team with Japan Display to Enter Apple's OLED Supply Chain by 2018." At that time Japan's Sharp was hoping to work with Japan Display in order to ramp up production and be a contender for Apple's iOS device business for 2018. It now appears that Foxconn may have additional plans at grabbing some of Apple's next-gen OLED business.
According to a new supply chain report today, Sharp plans to invest US$864 million to set up an OLED production line at Foxconn Electronics' factory in Zhengzhou City, northern China, with production to begin in 2019, according to Japan-based Nikkei.
As Foxconn produces iPhones at the factory, the OLED capacity is believed to be specifically for supplying OLED panels for upcoming iPhone models.
The Nikkei added that "Making panels close to where iPhones are assembled will lower transportation and other costs, allowing Foxconn and Sharp to better compete against rival assemblers and parts makers."
The report lastly noted that "Japan-based Sakai Display Products (SDP), of which Foxconn chairman Terry Guo and Sharp are shareholders, has invested hundreds of millions of dollars to set up an OLED trial production line and will kick off volume production in 2018. Dai Cheng-wu, Foxconn vice chairman and president of Sharp, indicated that Sharp's establishment of OLED production capacity will hinge on the results of SDP's trials."
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