Struggling iPhone display-maker secures massive bailout

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iPhone XR screen bezels
Japan Display makes the LCD screens for the iPhone XR.
Photo: Kristal Chan/Cult of Mac

Struggling Apple display-maker Japan Display has successfully secured bailout funding of 80 billion yen ($738 million).

The funding comes from Chinese investment firm Harvest Group and Hong Kong-based Oasis Management. It was previously reported that Apple would be part of this bailout package — to the tune of $100 million.

Japan Display says it will hold a shareholders meeting on August 29 to formalize the deal. Taiwanese screen-maker TPK Holding and financial firm CGL Group dropped out of the rescue bid back in June.

The trials and tribulations of Japan Display

Japan Display has been struggling for some time now. A big challenge it faced was Apple’s decision to move away from LCD displays in favor of OLED screens. While Japan Display provided the LCD displays for the iPhone XR, it’s clear that this is a shrinking part of Apple’s business.

Apple currently represents 60% of Japan Display’s sales. Fortunately for Japan Display, it seems that Apple is willing to throw it a lifeline.

In addition to the reported $100 million investment, Cupertino also awarded Japan Display OLED orders for an upcoming Apple Watch. This is the first time Japan Display will make OLED screens for Apple.

Part of the reason for Apple’s benevolence may be the fact that it previously supplied funding for Japan Display to build a factory in Japan to make iPhone panels. As of now, it still owes Apple around 100 billion yen. A recent report in The Wall Street Journal said Apple might renegotiate repayment terms to offer assistance.

Source: Reuters