Jan 10, 2017: With the aim to supply OLED screens for Apple Inc.’s next generation iPhones, Taiwan-based Foxconn, and its Japan-based subsidiary Sharp Corp. are considering building an OLED facility at Zhengzhou, Henan Province, China.
Currently Foxconn has two broad production sites in Zhengzhou and in Shenzhen, Guangdong Province that assemble iPhones and iPads for Apple. Foxconn is one of the most important suppliers to Apple. With the Zhengzhou plant coming up, Foxconn will be able to lower its costs, particularly transportation costs.
Foxconn will partner with Sharp to invest US$855 million (100 billion Japanese yen) in the OLED plant project. In September 2016, Sharp announced that it will invest 57.4 billion yen to install production facilities for OLED screens and components for the displays. It OLED production will start in April 2018.
According to a research note, Foxconn can get 90-95% of the orders from Apple to assemble the new iPhones with OLED screens. Foxconn, who is also competing with LG Display, Samsung Display, and Japan Display, in pushing for Sharp’s OLED investment.
China has a large base of potential customers, as there are many iPhone assembly plants in the country as well as Chinese smartphone manufacturers. Foxconn believes that its OLED panel division has the potential to boost Sharp’s overall business.