Hon Hai better known as Foxconn is poised to enter the OLED arena, according to reports. They are working on setting up an OLED R&D center in Japan and hope to start mass production in 2015. The goal is the beat Samsung.
Foxconn preparing for OLED push
Foxconn is a master of mass production and is probably best recognized as the company assembling popular products from Apple, Dell, Nintendo (Wii), Sony (PlayStation) and others.
"Samsung is a despicable petty company that always stabs the backs of competitors"
Foxconn seems to have made strategic moves to further increase vertical integration of the supply chain. They recently bought a stake in Sharp’s LCD plant. They are not only moving backwards in the supply chain but also forward with its Chinese LCD-TV plant and its recent introduction of a smartphone.
Foxconn also appears to have great interest in the OLED technology and as an expert in mass production we hope they can help ignite the OLED market. Foxconn is reportedly building an OLED R&D center in Japan that will be operational in 2013. They hope to benefit from the Japanese engineers’ knowhow as they are considered leaders in OLED technology.
The research center will initially employ 20 people in 2013, with 20 more to come over the next three years.
The goal is to beat Samsung
Hon Hai's CEO Terry Gou has openly declared war on Samsung, which he calls a “despicable petty [company] that always stabs the backs of competitors”.
Terry Gou, Foxconn CEO
Gou’s harsh feelings stem from a time when Hon Hai and Samsung collaborated on LCD panels and technology through Hon Hai’s subsidiary Chimei Innolux. The collaboration ended abruptly in what Terry Gou seems to believe was an inelegant manner when Samsung instead teamed up with South Korean LG. Samsung’s management is said to have launched an internal “kill Taiwan” strategy after the financial crisis.
Terry Gou has discussed his bad feelings towards Samsung publicly and is also angry with Samsung for acting as a “whistlerblower” in a major case of a price fixing cartel on LCD panels years ago. The court ruled that Chimei Innolux had to pay a 357 million USD fine but Terry Gou believes that Samsung was the true villain in the cartel and that Chimei was innocent. Samsung received a significantly reduced fine due to its cooperation with EU.
Terry Gou is convinced that Hon Hai’s partnership with Sharp will allow them, in the long term, to challenge and beat Samsung. And OLED technology seems to be an element in his plan.
The goal is to start OLED mass production in 2015.