Apple doubles investment to save struggling display-maker

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iPhone XR display
Japan Display will live on.
Photo: Apple

Apple has reportedly doubled its investment in struggling iPhone screen-maker Japan Display (JDI).

CEO Minoru Kikuoka expects the deal to be completed this month. It comes after an ¥80 billion ($750 million) bailout deal fell through in late September when the largest investor pulled its funding.

Japan Display’s struggles started soon after Apple began using OLED screens in its flagship iPhone models. It still supplies Apple with LCD panels for iPhone 11, but orders have fallen significantly.

Apple has agreed to cough up some cash to keep the company alive, but it will need to invest a lot more than originally planned.

Apple throws more cash at Japan Display

Recent reports suggested Apple was willing to double its investment. An announcement from Kikuoka suggests that Cupertino has since delivered on its promise.

Kikuoka said a major client, which sources say is Apple, is doubling its investment to $200 million. It will help fund a ¥50 billion deal that Kikuoka expects to “cement” this month.

A further $150 to $180 million will come from Oasis Management of Honk Kong. The remaining $90 to $120 million is expected to come from another JDI customer which is yet to be named.

No plans for OLED yet

JDI has enjoyed an increase in orders following the launch of iPhone 11 last month. But Apple’s decision to shift away from LCD panels has had a huge impact on the company in recent years.

JDI will not transition to OLED manufacturing just yet, however.

“We are not planning to make capital investments on our own for OLED,” said Kikuoka. The move would require an idle LCD plant to be converted at a cost of around $1.9 billion.

Via: Reuters