When Foxconn in March 2016 acquired a majority share of Sharp, many speculated that Foxconn would convert some of Sharp’s display plants to produce OLED displays. Terry Gou, Chairman of Foxconn, has confirmed that Sharp indeed aims to start production of OLEDs in 2017, likely for use in a new iPhone.
Sharp-produced OLED displays in 2017
Only two companies, Samsung and LG, are capable of mass-producing OLED displays today. Sharp will join them next year, confirms Foxconn who own a 66% share in Sharp.
- "We will be ready before 2018 and ship (OLED panels) to customers," said Terry Gou, Chairman of Foxconn, at the annual shareholder meeting.
Gou did not elaborate but the OLED displays produced by Sharp are likely headed for a new Apple iPhone. Samsung, LG and Japan Display are also expected to become suppliers of OLED displays for the future iPhone. Foxconn already assembles most of Apple’s products.
Rumor goes that Apple will introduce the first OLED-equipped iPhone in 2017. If this turns out to be true, Sharp will likely focus on small- to mid-size OLED panels – not TV panels.
Photo: The Verge
Since 2012, Sharp has on several occasions exhibited OLED display prototypes.
Ramping up production over such a short period sounds like an ambitious goal but Foxconn will invest 200 billion yen (1.95b USD) to make it happen. The company will also draw on research and expertise from display maker Innolux that is owned also owned by Foxconn.