Sharp Stories August 2, 2019

Sharp is latest Apple supplier to move part of production out of China

Sharp is the latest Apple supplier to announce plans to move part of its production out of China. The news follows Trump’s latest escalation of the US trade war with China …

Sharp Stories March 19, 2018

Share prices of display makers hit by report of Apple working on microLED production

Shares of three different display makers have been hit by a report that Apple is working on manufacturing its own microLED screens for future devices …

Sharp Stories January 12, 2018

Both Foxconn-owned Sharp and Japan Display are gearing up to compete with Samsung and LG for Apple orders for OLED screens, say supply-chain sources …

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Sharp Stories January 9, 2017

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Foxconn appears to be taking full advantage of its acquisition of Sharp as the display maker is reported to be setting up an OLED production line at an iPhone assembly factory. All of the OLED production there is said to be destined for upcoming iPhone models, according to a Nikkei report cited by Digitimes.

Sharp plans to invest JPY100 billion (US$864 million) to set up an OLED production line at Foxconn Electronics’ factory in Zhengzhou City, northern China.

However, the facility won’t be ready for this year’s iPhones, as trial production is not expected to begin until 2018 or 2019 – though the company may be making OLED units for the iPhone 8 elsewhere …

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Sharp Stories October 29, 2016

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Japan’s Nikkei again reports on upcoming features for Apple’s next iPhone just a month after the launch of the iPhone 7Three days ago, it reported that there would be 3 versions of the all glass-backed iPhone 8 line including a 5-inch screen model. Today the news organization is reporting that at least the biggest model will use a OLED and Sharp could be making some of those future OLED displays in the US. expand full story

Sharp Stories June 24, 2016

iPhone concept from ConceptsiPhone iPhone concept from ConceptsiPhone
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iPhone concept from ConceptsiPhone

iPhone concept from ConceptsiPhone

With Apple expected to switch to OLED screens for future iPhones, it appears that it may not need to rely completely on the two major manufacturers for long. While Samsung and LG currently manufacture most of the world’s OLED screens between them, Nikkei reports that Sharp expects to be doing the same ‘before 2018’ …

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Sharp Stories May 16, 2016

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iPhone concept: Yasser Farahi/Ovalpicture

With most reports now agreeing that Apple will switch to OLED displays in iPhones in either 2017 or 2018 (but no consensus yet on which of the two years), UBI Research has now added fuel to the idea that not all models will benefit from the new screen technology.

The Korea Herald reports the firm’s president and chief analyst suggesting numbers that indicate a gradual rollout across models.

Lee Choong-hoon predicted an OLED iPhone with a curved screen would debut in 2018, saying OLED models would make up 30 percent or 100 million units of total iPhone shipments in the year and the figure could surge to 80 percent by 2020.

While the 30% figure could be explained by Apple launching its new iPhones late in the year, the ‘80% by 2020’ number would mean Apple continuing to manufacture some new models with the older IPS LCD screen tech for some time to come …

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Sharp Stories May 13, 2016

Almost entire Sharp board will be replaced as Foxconn vows to turn the company around

Following the on-off-on-again acquisition of display-maker Sharp by Foxconn, the company has announced that 12 of the 13 board members – including CEO Kozo Takahashi – will step down once the takeover process is complete. The WSJ reports that the announcement follows deepening losses at the company.

Sharp Stories May 12, 2016

iPhone decline hits Apple suppliers, say they see no upside in immediate sight

Apple’s decline in iPhone sales is unsurprisingly having a knock-on effect on its key suppliers, with the WSJ reporting that Foxconn, Pegatron, Sharp, Japan Display and Sony have all reported falling profits or losses as a result.

Sharp Stories April 6, 2016

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It had always seemed obvious that Foxconn’s reason for buying display-maker Sharp was to acquire the capacity to make OLED displays for future iPhones – and a supply-chain report today supports this.

Sharp will set up one 4.5G and two 6G AMOLED production lines with monthly capacity of 13,000, 11,500 and 34,500 glass substrates respectively, with total monthly capacity of 9.85 million 5.5-inch equivalent panels.

While the source is Digitimes, this one seems likely to be at least broadly accurate.

Apple currently used OLED displays only in the Apple Watch, still relying on older LCD displays for the iPhone, but numerous reports suggest that the company plans to switch to OLED screens for iPhones at some point in 2017 or 2018.

Image: OLED display under microscope via Reddit

Sharp Stories March 31, 2016

Foxconn’s acquisition of Sharp likely to reduce Apple’s dependence on Samsung

Foxconn’s acquisition of Japanese display-maker Sharp looks likely to help Apple reduce its dependence on Samsung as it prepares for a transition from LCD to OLED displays.

The WSJ notes that Samsung currently makes 95% of the world’s OLED displays, and that Apple always aims to have multiple sources of components to reduce risk and strengthen its negotiating position.

While Sharp doesn’t currently make OLED screens, it will almost certainly start doing so under Foxconn’s ownership.

Sharp can springboard off its existing technology to develop the screens, says Alberto Moel, a technology analyst for Bernstein Research. The two types use the same backbone, but OLED screens are topped with a layer of organic compounds instead of the liquid crystal layer for LCDs. “The first part of the production process is similar,” he said.

Foxconn has long been seeking to expand its role in iPhone production from low-margin assembly work into the more profitable component business.

Apple currently used OLED displays only in the Apple Watch, but is widely expected to switch to the newer display technology in the iPhone in either 2017 or 2018. While Samsung looks set to be Apple’s lead supplier, that’s something the iPhone maker will want to change over time.

Sharp Stories March 30, 2016

Foxconn

Deja vu? The Foxconn acquisition of Sharp was almost a done deal a few weeks ago, until Sharp revealed some additional liabilities at the eleventh hour it had not previously disclosed. This meant Foxconn had to go back to the drawing board and re-assess the deal, renegotiating some parts of the contract with Sharp. The initial offer was worth $6.2 billion. Today, the companies announced Foxconn will buy Sharp in a $3.5 billion dollar deal.

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Sharp Stories March 29, 2016

Foxconn shares suspended due to “major announcement” expected to be Sharp acquisition

It looks like the on-off acquisition of display-maker Sharp by iPhone assembler Foxconn is back on. The WSJ reported earlier that the two companies have been discussing a significantly lower valuation for the company, and Reuters now reports that share trading in Foxconn has been suspended due to a “major announcement.”

Japan’s Sharp Corp and Taiwan’s Foxconn are set to sign a merger deal this week after repeated delays, with the two sides set to agree on a smaller bailout than originally planned for the troubled Japanese electronics maker, two sources familiar with the talks said.

The deal is expected to be finalised during board meetings by both companies tomorrow for around $2B less than originally discussed, after a rather stormy journey.

Sharp Stories March 15, 2016

Foxconn seeking concessions from shareholding banks in attempt to rescue Sharp takeover

The Nikkei Asian Review reports the latest on the on-off-maybe acquisition of display maker Sharp by iPhone assembler Foxconn.

Various potential deals appear to be under discussion with both Mizuho Bank and Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ. These include paying the banks less for the shares they hold, reducing the interest rate payable on a joint loan to Sharp and agreeing that the banks will provide financial support in the event that the feared liabilities do indeed materialize after the deal is done.

It was initially reported last month that the deal had been done before details of potential Sharp liabilities put it into doubt. Negotiations then resumed.

It had been suggested at one stage that Apple may help to support the deal, but as there has been no recent mention of this, we’d say this currently seems unlikely. Foxconn has, however, long played a role in helping keep Sharp afloat.

Sharp Stories March 4, 2016

Foxconn’s acquisition of Sharp reportedly back on track after earlier doubts; Apple’s involvement still unclear

Foxconn’s planned takeover of Sharp, to allow it to begin making displays for iPhones as well as assembling them, is reportedly back on track.

First reports of Foxconn’s interest in purchasing Sharp’s display division emerged last September, when it was reported that Apple would come on board as an investor. Foxconn made a $5.3B bid in January, and it was initially reported that the deal had been concluded last week.

Sharp Stories February 26, 2016

Foxconn acquisition team “went berserk” when they learned of potential Sharp liabilities, deal in doubt

Plans for iPhone assembler Foxconn to acquire Sharp, allowing it to move into making displays for future devices, now appear in significant doubt. Initially reported in Japan as a done deal, the WSJ quickly reported that Foxconn was “delaying” signing – and the same source today reports that talks have broken down.

Sharp Corp on Friday scrambled to salvage a sale to Taiwanese electronics assembler Foxconn as its stock plunged and investors questioned whether the companies could restore trust to make their proposed marriage work after an 11th-hour breakdown in talks … 

Sharp Stories February 24, 2016

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Update: The WSJ reports that the deal is not yet certain. Sharp may come with some potential financial risks, which Foxconn is evaluating before it actually signs the deal.

Foxconn Technology Group said Thursday it is delaying the signing of a definitive takeover agreement with Sharp Corp. due to new details that the Japanese electronics maker disclosed a day earlier.

Foxconn didn’t elaborate in its statement, but people familiar with the matter said that the Taiwanese iPhone assembler is putting the Sharp deal on hold after reviewing the Japanese firm’s future financial risk. The people said Foxconn received a list of about ¥350 billion yen worth of “contingent liabilities” from Sharp on Wednesday.

Contingent liabilities are costs that a company might face in the future, based on the outcome of lawsuits, accounting changes, supply contracts or other uncertainties.

Last month it was reported that Apple manufacturer Foxconn had bid $5.3 billion to acquire Japanese display maker Sharp, who has faced numerous financial and manufacturing difficulties over recent years. Now, Japanese news outlet Nikkei Asian Review reports that Sharp has accepted an offer from Taiwan’s Hon Hai Precision Industry, better known as Foxconn, for $6.2 billion.

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Sharp Stories January 21, 2016

Apple manufacturer Foxconn bids $5.3 billion to acquire display maker Sharp

iPhone manufacturer Foxconn has posted a $5.3 billion bid to buy Sharp, the Japanese display manufacturer who has faced financial difficulties in recent years. iPhone displays are currently manufactured by Sharp, Samsung and LG and assembled at Foxconn’s plant. A successful Sharp purchase puts Foxconn in the position to make iPhone display components, going beyond assembly.

Sharp Stories December 14, 2015

Image Credit: Maurice Tsai / Bloomberg Image Credit: Maurice Tsai / Bloomberg
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Image Credit: Maurice Tsai / Bloomberg

Image Credit: Maurice Tsai / Bloomberg

According to a report out of Bloomberg, Apple has opened a secret production laboratory in northern Tawain to focus on developing new display technologies. The report claims that the lab, located in Longtan, has at least 50 engineers and various other employees working to develop iPhone and iPad displays.

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Sharp Stories September 23, 2015

Screen Shot 2015-09-23 at 10.23.52 PM

According to a report from Nikkei Asian Review, Apple manufacturing partner Foxconn has proposed to purchase Sharp’s LCD business. The deal would see Foxconn hold a majority stake in the company, while Apple would also come on board as an investor. The exact breakdown of the partnership between Foxconn and Apple in purchasing Sharp’s LCD business is unclear at this point, but Apple already controls a major portion of the business…

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Sharp Stories August 20, 2015

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Supply chain sources cited by Digitimes back a KGI report that the iPad Pro is expected to begin production in September, ramping up into mass production from October. While Digitimes has a spotty track record, this report is more specific than many, providing details of display suppliers for the new device.

The device will enter production by the end of the third quarter and go into mass production in the fourth. Sharp will provide Open Cell LCD displays while [Foxconn subsidiary] GIS will provide GF touch panels.

Samsung Display and TPK will be secondary suppliers, with TPK responsible for touch modules and Samsung for displays as well as LCD assembly … 

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Sharp Stories August 17, 2015

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Earlier this month, the United States Patent Office made a non-final ruling that one of Apple’s design patents for the original iPhone is invalid within Apple’s long-running lawsuit against Samsung, according to a report from FOSS Patents. This particular patent, as seen in the drawings above, references the overall design of the original iPhone launched in 2007. It is known as the “D’677” patent in court proceedings and legal documents. FOSS explains the reasoning behind the invalidation:

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Sharp Stories December 23, 2014

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Check out our updated roundup of the best 4K and 5K displays for Mac for 2016.

So Apple didn’t release a 4K (or 5K) standalone Retina display alongside the new 5K iMac, but you can’t hold off any longer on a shiny new display for your Mac Pro. I found myself in the same predicament not too long ago and decided to put a number of displays to the test in recent months. 4K might offer 4x the resolution of your standard 1080p display, but for the short time they’ve been around, they’ve also cost about 4x as much as the alternatives. The good news: There are a few Mac Pro compatible 4K displays (and UHD alternatives) finally starting to hit more reasonable price points just as recent OS X updates fix some issues early adopters first had with the higher resolution displays.

I’ve been testing Mac Pro compatible displays from Dell, Sharp, Samsung, LG, and others that are officially supported by Apple, and put together a list of my thoughts and top picks for those planning on picking up a new Mac Pro this holiday season. Despite my tests being done mostly on a new, stock Mac Pro, these picks stand for Thunderbolt-equipped MacBook users as well.

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Sharp Stories October 23, 2014

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 …  expand full story

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