updated 07:45 am EDT, Wed August 17, 2011
Apple investing in Sharp to guarantee iOS supply
Industry contacts divulged early Wednesday that Apple was investing $1 billion into a Sharp LCD plant. The proposed deal would guarantee a steady supply of screens for iPads and iPhones, Reuters said. It would combine with a now supposedly corroborated investment in Toshiba to the same ends.
Neither of the companies have commented. Sharp, however, is known to be converting a TV plant to mobile screens and might be doing so at the behest of Apple. Toshiba has denied claims before but might have seen its situation change in several months' time.
Apple has previously said it was investing in an unnamed technology on the same scale it did with flash in the mid-2000s. Many believe that involves a large-scale display investment that would give it access both to larger supply and newer technologies. Sharp is rumored giving Apple LTPS-based iPhone LCDs that would reduce the energy draw while maintaining or increasing quality.
Any developments might not manifest until 2012 or later. Although Sharp could be involved in the iPhone 6, the 2048x1536 display rumored for the iPad 3 would be made by LG and Samsung.
Simultaneously, other Japanese companies are believed to be eager for Apple to widen its rift with Samsung. Toshiba, Elpida, and others are hopeful that they could pick up orders for NAND flash storage and RAM if Apple decides to reduce or cut its orders from the Korean company.