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Sharp is gearing up to spend around $1.2 billion on expanding its product lines for small and midsize LCD panels, most of which are meant for Apple’s iPhone, Reuters reports.
Apparently, Apple will cover a large portion of the $1.2 billion investment and is going to purchase much of Sharp’s LCD output for the iPhone. Apple is clearly securing more displays in anticipation of high demand of it’s next-generation iPhone. It’s also likely trying to avoid display supply issues like Samsung and other display manufacturers faced this year.
On Monday, Japan’s Nikkei business newspaper reported that Toshiba was making a similarly large investment in LCD production and that Apple would also be benefiting from it. Toshiba ended up denying that Apple would invest in the production of its new factory, but that still leaves the door open for Apple to be the primary buyer of its LCD panels from that plant.
Both Sharp and Toshiba’s plants will focus on midsize displays, in addition to smaller displays for the iPhone, meaning they could also be producing supply for Apple’s iPad. By diversifying its suppliers, Apple is ensuring that issues with one plant won’t kill its ability to make iPhones and iPads completely.