The success of the iPhone hasn’t been a huge money maker for just Apple. Component manufacturers make a killing off it as well because it means they’re able to sell millions of units for each iPhone launch as Apple gogbles up all available supply.
While Apple’s relationship with Samsung as a components supplier has become strained, other companies are ready to join the fight and invest some serious moolah to help Apple and secure better contracts themselves. Sharp, seeing a big opportunity, says they may invest $1 Billion into their plant to boost capacity for Apple’s iPhone displays.
The news comes after Hon Hai – the parent company of Foxconn – has tried to secure a stake in Sharp Corp. The two companies share ownership of Sharp’s LCD panel factory in western Japan, but Hon Hai wants to help Sharp even more and use their expertise to increase effiiciency to make more display panels for the iPhone.
Hon Hai’s strong relationship with Apple through Foxconn might help Sharp’s factories become profitable again because they know how to produce high quality products for cheap. The main struggle Sharp faces is that a lot of Sharp’s components are expensive because they are made by Japanese companies.
Terry Gou is trying to strike a deal that would give Hon Hai a 9.9% ownership stake in Sharp. Sharp’s Sakai factory produces credit card-thin panels of LCD displays, but their output levels have been as low as 30percent capacity recently.