updated 04:25 pm EST, Mon December 27, 2010
Foxconn parent may buy stake in Hitachi LCD tech
Foxconn's parent firm Hon Hai Precision Industry may get control of Hitachi's phone and tablet display production through a stock deal, Japan's Nikkei newspaper said on Monday. Plans are reportedly underway to buy a majority take in Hitachi Displays for $1.2 billion. The Japanese company in turn would use the money to build a display factory in its home country that would serve Foxconn's aims.
A spokesman for Hon Hai hadn't heard about the claims and couldn't comment. Hitachi wouldn't either confirm or deny the plans but said that it was "constantly considering measures" to boost its business.
Japanese display production plans have suddenly taken center stage in recent weeks and have pointed to a major push into mobile displays. Sharp may be making a factory with Apple in mind. Toshiba has denied talk of direct Apple help but is still thought to be establishing production that would again be targeted at iPhones and possibly other handhelds.
Foxconn isn't exclusive to Apple and regularly makes devices for other manufacturers, but its role as the key manufacturer for much of Apple's lineup has put a greater burden on it to get a healthy supply of parts. iPhone 4 shortages have been blamed mostly on LG Display's inability to keep up with unexpectedly high demand. It may have outsourced to Samsung in the short term but could be looking for more permanent guarantees. [image via Jorge Quinteros]