Mar 9, 2017: With Apple’s decision to use OLED panels for its next iPhone series, OLED manufacturers are gearing up to supple OLED panels to Apple. They are building new facilities and expaning their existing ones.
In this race, Sharp is also not far behind. With the aim to compete with Samsung Electronics, Sharp will invest about US$ 878 million (100 billion yen) to expand its OLED production.
This expansion plan is likely to increase Sharp’s total production capacity across facilities in Japan to 30,000 panels per month by 2018.
Earlier in January 2017, it was reported that Taiwan-based Foxconn, and its Japan-based subsidiary Sharp were considering building an OLED facility at Zhengzhou, Henan Province, China. Foxconn is one of the most important suppliers to Apple.
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.
Sharp wants to produce about 15 million OLED panels for smartphones every year. However, according to Research firm Display Supply Chain Consultants (DSCC), the overall smartphone shipment stands at several hundred million units per year. Hence, Sharp needs to expand its production capacity to compete with its rivals.