June 18, 2012
Foxconn, Apple’s largest manufacturer, is expected to buy more shares of display maker Sharp. This news suggests Apple could be getting ever closer to revealing an Apple iTV, according to Reuters. Three months after buying an 11 percent stake in Sharp, Foxconn is likely to buy even more of the Japanese-based manufacturer. This news comes as Sharp’s share price has dropped in recent months, from $7 per share to just over $5 a share. Hon Hai chairman and founder Terry Gou made the announcement today at the company’s annual meeting in Taiwain. Hon Hai is a subsidiary of Foxconn. 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 the 11 percent stake in Sharp worth $844 million. 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 distance 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.