In an effort to become the main supplier of iPhone touchscreens, Japan Display has been considering its alternatives and has come up with a solution which could benefit both parties, a plant built by Apple and used by Japan Display to manufacture screens, according to anonymous sources speaking with Reuters.
The investment required to build the plant is said to be around $1.7 billion, which Japan Display wants to save in order to focus its cash elsewhere. In the end, Apple would have a plant populated with Japan Display employees working only on iPhone screens. In the light of Apple’s Q1 2015 earnings report, this sounds like good business.
The Japan Display statement spilled more fuel on the fire, as the company says it is exploring opportunities to strengthen its competitiveness, which could include a new plant. A likely site could be in Ishikawa, central Japan. If the deal is signed by both parties, the plant could be functional by next year and have a higher capacity than existing facilities, according to the source.
Japan Display currently has a facility in Mobara, southeast of Tokyo, which makes fifty thousand 1.5 × 1.85 m sheets each month for iPhone 6 screens and other uses, the source said.
The screen manufacturer was formed from the display arms of three companies: Sony, Toshiba, and Hitachi. The company’s profits have been up recently, due to high demand from Apple and Chinese smartphone makers.
By the way, Foxconn has allegedly made a similar move and it is ready to shell out $5.7 billion for a display plant covering iPhone orders.