A rumor that Apple is planning to invest $1 billion in a new Sharp factory for building screens for its iPhone and iPad products has resurfaced, which is just days after a separate report claimed that the next-generation iPad has been delayed in part because of production constraints from the supplier and LCD displays have reportedly been a limiting factor for both the original iPad and the second-generation model. In June Sharp announced it would be shifting its focus from TV displays to small and medium-sized panels at one of its major plants, which is light of the growing smartphone and tablet sectors and Apple was reportedly very disappointed with its LCD suppliers in the first half of this year…………..
Apple plans to invest in a Sharp to secure a supply of LCD screens for iPhones and iPads, riggering expectations Apple may step up orders to Japanese parts makers. Japanese chipmakers in particular, such as Elpida Memory and Toshiba are hopeful of larger orders from Apple if the U.S. company’s relationship with Samsung deteriorates further. “If the situation escalates into a state of war, this could mean a huge shift in orders,” said one of the sources who was not authorized to speak to the media. Japanese media have reported that Apple may invest around 100 billion yen ($1.3 billion) in the Sharp plant, but Sharp‘s shares outperformed the market on Wednesday after brokerage MF Global FXA Securities highlighted the likelihood of the investment in a sales note. Sharp has already clinched a contract with Apple to supply power-efficient screens for the sixth-generation iPhone to launch in 2012, sources have previously said. “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,” MF Global FXA Securities analyst David Rubenstein said in the note. Sharp faces competition from cheaper panels made by rivals including LG Electronics and Samsung. Sharp said in June that it would switch most production at one of its main TV panel plants to making small and medium-sized panels to meet demand for smartphones and tablets.