File photo of employees working inside a Foxconn factory in the township of Longhua

iPhone assembler Foxconn is apparently hoping to move beyond its relatively low-margin work into more profitable high-end component manufacturing in order to take a bigger slice of revenue from Apple, reports the WSJ.

Apple Inc.’s major assembler Foxconn is in preliminary discussions with a provincial government in northern China for an investment in a new factory that would make high-end screens for iPhones and other mobile devices, people familiar with the talks say.

Foxconn already manufactures some iPhone components, but currently only low-margin ones like metal casings and cables … 

Sharp, Japan Display, LG and Samsung have been Apple’s main display suppliers in recent years.

“Foxconn hopes to capture the growing demand for high-resolution, energy-efficient displays and supply Apple and other smartphone makers in the next few years,” said a person familiar with the situation.

The report cautions that Foxconn Chairman Terry Gou is known for talking-up the company’s prospects, and that it is “unclear” whether Apple has been consulted on the idea. Tim Cook visited one of the company’s factories during his current visit to China, but there has been no indication of any talks on the topic.

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