Apple To Possibly Invest $1 Billion in Sharp LCD’s
>By James Lenhart
There’s been talk that Apple is looking to obtain parts from other OEM’s outside of Samsung as their relationship deteriorates over patent litigation. Japanese chipmakers like Elpida Memory Inc and Toshiba Corp are very excited of the possibility that Apple could start placing large orders, but Sharp could play a major role for the next device launch from Apple.
Japanese media have been reporting since late last year that Apple may possibly spend 100 billion yen ($1.3 billion) in the Sharp plant. With the next iDevices just around the corner Apple will need a manufacturer capable of handling large amounts of orders.
The Apple tradition is to use their cash in the bank to buy in bulk, so that it drives the cost down. It should be noted that Apple is very good at knowing how much they need, and at anticipating sales.
MF Global FXA Securities analyst David Rubenstein says in a note, “We think it is highly possible that Apple will make an investment in Sharp’s Kameyama plant to the tune of around $1 billion in order to secure a stable supply of screens for iPhones and iPads,” . If this happens it could mean great things for Sharp, but could mean even more tension between Apple and Samsung.
It’s known that Sharp has formed a contract to produce power-efficient screens for the sixth-generation iPhone planned to launch in 2012, but it’s to far away to know how many that will be. Nevertheless, if they do a good job now there shouldn’t be any reason to not use Sharp for most of the phones in the near future.