We reported in March that Foxconn had invested 800 million USD in Sharp and their 10G display plant. Sharp has now, additionally, sold more than 14 % of their remaining share, meaning that Foxconn (Hon Hai) will effectively take control of the world’s largest LCD plant.
Foxconn controls 10G plant
Nikkei reports that Sharp has decided to sell more than 7 % of their remaining share in their 10G (10th generation) display plant to Toppan Printing Co. and Dai Nippon Printing Co., respectively. That leaves Sharp with a less than 40 % share in the world’s most advanced display manufacturing plant, and means that Foxconn is now effectively taking control with their 46 % share.
Sharps 10G LCD plant in Sakai, Japan
Toppan Priting Co. and Dai Nippon Priting Co. produce LCD components, including color filters for display panels. The 10th generation manufacturing plant, located in Sakai, Japan, is the currently the most advanced LCD manufacturing plant. Sharp has utilized it for production of large-size LCD-TVs such as their 60-80” TV models. The plant can produce panels over 100 inches and produce panels with extremely high resolution.
The plant can also produce display panels, based on other display technologies – such as OLED - but it requires further investments into manufacturing equipment. However, sources have said that Sharp has already initiated a shift to the IGZO production method that can be used for both LCD and OLED panels. Analysts and industry observers have indicated that Foxconn’s investment is actually part of Apple’s plans to introduce an HDTV, since Apple is Foxconn’s largest customer by far.