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Japan Display is set to Acquire JOLED to Jump into Apple's OLED Supply Chain ahead of a New Sea of Competitors



In September we reported that Apple display supplier Japan Display was on the ropes with the Japanese government teetering on pulling the plug on their support of the company. Then in Earlier November the Japanese government doubled down on investing in Japan Display who wants to invest in OLED for the medium to long term. Today we learn that Japan Display is wasting no time in achieving their goal to get up to speed with OLED display manufacturing.


According to a new report out of Asia today we learn that Japan Display, the largest LCD maker in Japan, is set to acquire another Japanese company JOLED, a specialist in OLED.


This acquisition would lead to the creation of Japan's largest-ever display allied forces, enabling them to catch up with Korea's frontrunners, including Samsung Electronics and LG Display.


According to an industry source, Japan Display is set to take over more than 35 percent out of the 75-percent stake that the Japanese government-led fund Innovation Network Corporation of Japan owns in JOLED.


With this acquisition, Japan Display's stake in JOLED would be increased from the current 15 percent to more than 50 percent. Japan Display would incorporate JOLED as its subsidiary. This acquisition would cost more than 10 billion yen (US$86.8 million) for Japan Display.


Getting up to speed in OLED displays is a priority with Japan Display who got caught off-guard when Apple announced that they were switching to OLED beginning in 2017. Japan Display was Apple's number one LCD supplier. JOLED will allow Japan Display to compete with Samsung and get ahead of LG and Sharp/Foxconn.


Japan Display will now be able to enter the OLED immediately while they plan to expand their operations to handle more OLED capacity over the next year or two. This couldn't come a minute too soon as it's also being reported today that China-based panel makers are making huge investments in OLED technology, with EverDisplay Optronics (Shanghai) kicking off construction of a 6th-generation (6G) AMOLED factory.




In addition to EverDisplay Optronics, China-based display panel maker BOE Technology is constructing a 6G factory for flexible OLED panels in western China at an investment of CNY46.5 billion.


If that wasn't enough, China Star Optoelectronics Technology, Tianma Micro-electronics, Truly Opto-Electronics, Royol and Visionox are set to invest in setting up or expanding AMOLED production capacities.


According to China-based Sigmaintell Consulting, there were 260 million smartphone-use AMOLED panels with a total area of 1.9 million square meters shipped globally in 2015 and the shipments will increase to 380 million units with a total area of 2.6 million square meters in 2016.


All in all Apple will have a massive pool of OLED display companies to choose from over the next few years to assist their plan of switching their entire lineup of mobile products to OLED displays that may eventually extend through to Macs.


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