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Apple partner Foxconn purchases a controlling stake in Sharp for $3.5 billion

Sharp provides LCD screens for the iPhone
iMakers: Apple's Supply Chain
March 30, 2016

It’s official. After an offer back in February was pulled, Foxconn announced today that it has purchased a 66 percent controlling stake in Japanese consumer electronics firm Sharp.

As you probably remember, Foxconn’s growth has skyrocketed thanks to its partnership with Apple to build the iPhone at its Chinese factories.

Sharp is well known for its huge line of products including flatscreen TVs. While the brand continues to be popular in Japan, the company had been unable to expand its business to other countries. It also provides LCD screens for Apple’s iPhone.

“We have much that we want to achieve and I am confident that we will unlock Sharp’s true potential and together reach great heights,” Foxconn Chairman Terry Gou said in a statement Wednesday.

All about OLED

All about OLED
The Apple Watch features an OLED screen.

The Apple Watch features an OLED screen.

With the purchase, The Wall Street Journal says that Foxconn wants to expand Sharp’s capacity to produce screens – more specifically organic light emitting diode models, also known as OLED.

That new type of screen technology offers a number of advantages compared to the usual LCD display. It uses less power, which means an iPhone would be even more battery efficient. OLED displays are also thinner and lighter, offer wider viewing angles, higher brightness, and improved contrast levels.

The technology is also highlighted by faster response time and better color reproduction.

You can see OLED technology on display right now on the Apple Watch.

According to recent rumors, Apple wants to feature OLED technology on a future iPhone version, possibly as soon as 2017.

And by purchasing the controlling stake in Sharp, Foxconn looks to continuing to tie its fortunes to Apple and the iPhone.