May 25, 2012
Japan’s Sharp Corporation will provide the technical know-how to Taiwan’s Hon Hai Precision Industry Company for a new plant in China. The Chengdu plant is expected to produce LCD panels for future consumer electronics including the iPhone, according to Reuters. Hon Hai, the parent company of Foxconn, will work closely with Sharp as it readies the new plant. In March, the company agreed to buy a 46.48 percent stake in Sharp’s liquid crystal manufacturing plant in Sakai, Japan. In addition, Hon Hai bought an 11 percent stake in Sharp worth $844 million. Foxconn is Apple's largest manufacturer. At the same time, Sharp said that Sharp Display Products, which operates the Sakai plant would liquidate a partnership between them and Sony Corporation. Today’s news suggests Sharp will become a much more significant Apple supplier in the years to come. It also could be viewed as a continuation of Apple’s attempt to distant themselves from Samsung, their frenemy who has supplied screens and chips for iDevices in the past. As a reminder, Apple will likely unveil the newest iPhone this fall. We'll keep you updated.