iPhone Supplier Japan Display Seeks Financing Needed to Shift to OLED Displays

by

iphone-family-late-2016iPhone display supplier Japan Display is in "advanced talks" with the government-backed fund Innovation Network Corp. of Japan to receive around ¥75 billion ($703 million) in financing, according to The Wall Street Journal.

The bailout deal could help Japan Display improve its LCD display technology to better compete against OLED displays, while the investment could also go towards trying to set up its own manufacturing lines for mass-producing OLED displays.

Apple is widely expected to launch at least one new iPhone with an OLED display next year, with rumors pointing towards a curved 5.5-inch-or-larger model with glass casing. Japan Display's domestic rival Sharp recently said it is building a new OLED facility in Japan to manufacture the displays for a "key customer," while Samsung and LG Display are reportedly in the mix as well.

OLED displays typically have sharper color contrast and brighter colors compared to LCD displays, while the technology allows for flexible, curved designs. OLED panels also typically have faster response times and better viewing angles compared to LCD technology, with the option for an always-on mode. Samsung smartphones have used AMOLED displays, based on OLED technology, for years.

Rumors suggest Apple will release at least two traditional 4.7-inch and 5.5-inch iPhone models with LCD displays next year, as it has used since the original iPhone in 2007, so Japan Display may still have time to ramp up its OLED efforts.

INCJ already owns a controlling 36% stake in Japan Display, a joint venture formed in 2012 by the display making divisions of Hitachi, Sony, and Toshiba. Japan Display has struggled as of late due to the rise of OLED, with its revenue in the July-September quarter declining 25%. The company posted a quarterly net loss of ¥4.9 billion, but it projects a small operating profit for the full fiscal year.

Sharp received a similar financial infusion when it was acquired by Apple manufacturing partner Foxconn for $3.5 billion earlier this year.

Top Rated Comments

(View all)
Avatar
52 months ago

I hope this might mean that Japan Display is investing in mLED which IMHO is the future and better than OLED. And maybe the reason Apple has been waiting to transition.

Don't hold your breath waiting on this to happen... especially for iPhones. mLED is in it's infancy and industry experts think it will be anywhere from 2-10 years before mLED will be commercially viable for mass production. Lot's of companies are working on it, so that's a good thing. My guess is the first appearance of mLED in an Apple product will occur with the Apple Watch. Just like Apple using the Apple Watch to test the viability of OLED. Scaled manufacturing capability is going to be the key for the adoption of mLED on iPhones.

As for Japan Display, I don't think they can really afford to invest in mLED right now. They need their investments to pay off quickly... as in yesterday. They don't have a war chest to carry them for the long haul. They need OLED capacity and more efficienct LCD capacity so they can capitalize on it sooner rather than later. Unfortunately, they have to worry about tomorrow's tech tomorrow.
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
52 months ago
I hope this might mean that Japan Display is investing in mLED which IMHO is the future and better than OLED. And maybe the reason Apple has been waiting to transition.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
52 months ago

Don't hold your breath waiting on this to happen... especially for iPhones. mLED is in it's infancy and industry experts think it will be anywhere from 2-10 years before mLED will be commercially viable for mass production. Lot's of companies are working on it, so that's a good thing. My guess is the first appearance of mLED in an Apple product will occur with the Apple Watch. Just like Apple using the Apple Watch to test the viability of OLED. Scaled manufacturing capability is going to be the key for the adoption of mLED on iPhones.

As for Japan Display, I don't think they can really afford to invest in mLED right now. They need their investments to pay off quickly... as in yesterday. They don't have a war chest to carry them for the long haul. They need OLED capacity and more efficienct LCD capacity so they can capitalize on it sooner rather than later. Unfortunately, they have to worry about tomorrow's tech tomorrow.

You may be right. Here ('https://9to5mac.com/2016/06/24/2017-apple-watch-reportedly-switching-to-micro-led-screen-technology-away-from-oled-panels/')is the article basically supporting what you state. Except that it may be quicker than your timeline.
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

iPhone 12 Pro in Graphite and iPhone 12 in Blue Shown Off in Unboxing Videos

Monday October 19, 2020 8:20 am PDT by
While the iPhone 12 Pro does not launch until Friday, we now have an early unboxing video of the device courtesy of Twitter account DuanRui, providing a closer look at the shiny new flat-edge design and sleek Graphite color option. Ben Geskin re-uploaded the unboxing video to YouTube, which we've embedded below: Geskin has also uploaded an unboxing video of the iPhone 12 in Blue: ...

New Photos Offer Better Look at iPhone 12 Color Options

Tuesday October 20, 2020 2:34 am PDT by
As we wait for the iPhone 12 review embargo to lift later today, more pictures are circulating of the devices in real-world lighting conditions, providing a better look at the different colors available. Leaker DuanRui has shared images on Twitter of the iPhone 12 in white, black, blue, green, and (PRODUCT)RED. The black and white colors are similar to the iPhone 11 colors, but the other...

Kuo: iPhone 12 Pro Demand Higher Than Expected

Sunday October 18, 2020 10:39 pm PDT by
TF International Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo released a research note this morning detailing what he's seen with the volume of iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro pre-orders in the first weekend of sales. Kuo had previously indicated that Apple's estimated shipment allocations for the new iPhone models placed the iPhone 12 at the top with 40-45% of inventory allocation (up from 15-20%). However, ...

Apple Releases iPadOS and iOS 14.1 With Multiple Bug Fixes Ahead of iPhone 12 Launch

Tuesday October 20, 2020 10:06 am PDT by
Apple today released iOS and iPadOS 14.1, the first major updates to the iOS and iPadOS 14 operating system updates that were released in September. iOS and iPadOS 14.1 come a week after Apple released the golden master versions of the updates to developers. The iOS 14.1 update can be downloaded for free and it is available on all eligible devices over-the-air in the Settings app. To access...

Hands-On With Apple's MagSafe Charger for iPhone 12

Monday October 19, 2020 11:54 am PDT by
Alongside the new iPhone 12 models, Apple introduced a MagSafe charger that attaches to the back of the iPhones using magnets embedded both in the charger and in the iPhone. It allows for speedier charging and paves the way for a portless iPhone in the future. MagSafe chargers are shipping out and are in some Apple retail locations now, and we picked one up to check it out. Subscribe to the ...

Watch: iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro Unboxing Videos and First Impressions

Tuesday October 20, 2020 6:05 am PDT by
Apple's embargo has lifted for iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro reviews. In addition to our detailed review roundups for each device, we've rounded up over a dozen unboxing videos and first impressions below. iPhone 12 in Blue on left and iPhone 12 Pro in Pacific Blue on right via Engadget Key new features of the iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro include a flat-edge design, 5G support, a much faster A14 ...

Some Apple Watch SE Owners Experiencing Issues With Overheating [Updated]

Monday October 19, 2020 11:38 am PDT by
There may be an issue with the new Apple Watch SE, which some users have found is overheating after a few hours of usage. Several Apple Watch SE owners in South Korea have run into problems, as noted in a Reddit post chronicling the complaints. There have been six reports from Apple Watch SE owners in South Korea who have had their Apple Watches get hot and malfunction, with a yellow spot...

Gold Version of iPhone 12 Pro Apparently Has a More Fingerprint Resistant Stainless Steel Frame

Tuesday October 20, 2020 11:56 am PDT by
iPhone 12 Pro reviews hit the web today, and one of the more interesting tidbits came from TechCrunch's Matthew Panzarino, who revealed that the Gold version of the device apparently has a more fingerprint resistant coating applied to the stainless steel frame. From his review:Most of the iPhone 12 Pro finishes still use a physical vapor deposition process for edge coating. But the new gold...

iPhone 12 Pro Max Has Smaller 3,687 mAh Battery According to Regulatory Filing

Tuesday October 20, 2020 8:48 pm PDT by
Apple's new iPhone 12 Pro Max is equipped with a 3,687 mAh battery, which is around 7% less capacity than the 3,969 mAh battery in the iPhone 11 Pro Max, according to a regulatory filing published by TENAA, the Chinese equivalent of the FCC. The regulatory filing, spotted by MacRumors, also lists the iPhone 12 Pro Max with 6GB of RAM as seen in benchmark results last week. Apple has filed ...

Hands-On With Apple's iPhone 12 and 12 Pro MagSafe Cases

Tuesday October 20, 2020 1:33 pm PDT by
Apple's iPhone 12 and 12 Pro are launching this Friday, and ahead of that release date, Apple is shipping out various accessories like the MagSafe charger and MagSafe cases. Yesterday we took a look at the MagSafe charger, and today our MagSafe case came in the mail, so we thought we'd take another look at the charger to see how it works with the case and just how strong the case magnets are. S ...