Struggling Apple display-maker reports its worst quarter ever | Cult of Mac

Struggling Apple display-maker reports its worst quarter ever

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iPhone XR test
Japan Display makes the LCD displays for the iPhone XR.
Photo: Apple

Struggling Apple display-maker Japan Display posted its largest-ever quarterly net loss Friday. The company lost 83.2 billion yen ($786 million) during Q2 2019.

That’s a whole lot worse than the 1.7 billion yen it lost this time last year.

The slowing smartphone market continues to hurt Japan Display (as well as plenty of other suppliers). However, the slowdown hit Japan Display harder than most because the company largely stuck to LCD screens as everyone else jumped to OLED.

Japan Display manufactures the iPhone XR’s screens. While a top-selling phone for Apple, it’s only one of three models Apple launched in 2018. With Apple likely switching to an all-OLED iPhone lineup in 2020, the future of LCD handsets looks grim. Apple currently represents 60% of Japan Display’s sales.

A report for Nikkei Asian Review notes that LCD panels for the automotive industry also took a hit recently.

The path forward

Right now, Japan Display is in the process of lining up a bailout worth up to 80 billion yen. This could include Apple as one of the investors. However, Japan Display canceled a press conference it planned for today. (It says investors could not visit the country for various reasons.)

Apple awarded Japan Display OLED orders for an upcoming Apple Watch. This will mark the first time the struggling company makes OLED displays for an Apple product. But with a possible bailout of 80 billion yen being less than Japan Display’s quarterly losses from a three-month period, it seems there’s still plenty of uncertainty about the company’s future.