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Sharp's New CEO Says Apple Iphone 8 Will Switch From LCDs To OLEDs

Nov 05, 2016

Apple's move to adopt OLED displays in future iPhones has been discussed many times in the past, and now it is Sharp's newly appointed CEO Tai Jeng-wu turn to "confirm" these reports. During a talk in Tatung University, Tai said that Apple is indeed switching to an OLED display in future iPhones. 

 Tai further commented that OLED represents the best chance for Apple to truly innovate its displays - so this is both a problem and an opportunity for Apple. This cannot be considered to be a real confirmation as many reports suggest, but it is pretty clear that OLED is the way to go for future displays.

Following Foxconn's $3.5 billion Sharp Takeover, it was reported that Foxconn aims to invest a total of $1.8 billion in OLED technologies, as Foxconn aims to become an OLED supplier to Apple. In June 2016 Foxconn's president said that the company aims to start mass producing OLEDs as early as 2017, but this was way too optimistic - production will probably start at 2018 or even 2019.

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Sharp recently announced plans to invest $570 million to setup pilot OLED production lines in Osaka, Japan. According to a new report from Nikkei Asian Review, Foxconn and Sharp new plan is to build the mass production lines in China and not in Japan. The two companies hope that the Chinese government will step up to help with funds. China also represents a larger market for OLED panels (including Apple's iPhones which are made in China).

When Foxconn in March 2016 acquired a majority share of Sharp, many speculated that Foxconn would convert some of Sharp’s display plants to produce OLED displays. Terry Gou, Chairman of Foxconn, has confirmed that Sharp indeed aims to start production of OLEDs in 2017, likely for use in a new iPhone.


- "We will be ready before 2018 and ship (OLED panels) to customers," said Terry Gou, Chairman of Foxconn, at the annual shareholder meeting.

Gou did not elaborate but the OLED displays produced by Sharp are likely headed for a new Apple iPhone. Samsung, LG and Japan Display are also expected to become suppliers of OLED displays for the future iPhone. Foxconn already assembles most of Apple’s products.

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