Apple was behind Sharp decision to buy Japan Display plant

Japan Display plant
Japan Display plant (Image credit: Ken Kobayashi)

What you need to know

  • Apple supplier Sharp recently bought up a plant from Japan Display.
  • It turns out the move may have been made at the behest of Apple.
  • According to a new report, Sharp says it received a request from a customer that it buy the factory.

A new report says Sharp's decision to buy a plant from Japan Display may have come at the behest of Apple.

According to Nikkei Asian Review:

Sharp's decision to purchase a smartphone screen plant from Japan Display came at the behest of Apple, a major client, with hopes of transforming the facility into a key link in its long-term strategy on displays.

Earlier this week it emerged that Japan Display has sold one of its factories to Sharp for $377 million. The ailing display manufacturer has previously been bailed out by Apple on numerous occasions to the tune of hundreds of millions of dollars.

The new report says that Sharp "received a request from a customer" that it buy the factory:

Japan Display on Friday said it is selling its halted Hakusan plant and the land under it to Sharp for 41.2 billion yen ($390 million), and part of the related equipment to a "customer" -- meaning Apple -- for 30.1 billion yen. Sharp will take control of the facility by October, and will resume the production of liquid crystal displays for iPhones there.

Japan Display will reportedly use the money from the sale to pay back Apple what it owes for a facility built several years ago and paid for by Apple. The report notes that Apple is likely trying to secure a stable supply of LCD displays, which, although eschewed from Apple's flagship lineup, are still very important to its iPhone SE.

Stephen Warwick
News Editor

Stephen Warwick has written about Apple for five years at iMore and previously elsewhere. He covers all of iMore's latest breaking news regarding all of Apple's products and services, both hardware and software. Stephen has interviewed industry experts in a range of fields including finance, litigation, security, and more. He also specializes in curating and reviewing audio hardware and has experience beyond journalism in sound engineering, production, and design.

Before becoming a writer Stephen studied Ancient History at University and also worked at Apple for more than two years. Stephen is also a host on the iMore show, a weekly podcast recorded live that discusses the latest in breaking Apple news, as well as featuring fun trivia about all things Apple. Follow him on Twitter @stephenwarwick9