“Sharp Corp. is looking to spend some ¥100 billion ($878 million) in an expanded plan to build organic light-emitting diode displays, a technology coming in Apple Inc.’s next iPhone series, people familiar with the matter said,” Takashi Mochizuki reports for The Wall Street Journal.

“Osaka-based Sharp, majority-owned by Taiwan’s Foxconn Technology Group, hopes to make at least 30,000 display-panel sheets a month at its Japanese factories starting next year, said people briefed on the company’s plans,” Mochizuki reports. “That will require about ¥100 billion in investment, they said, up 74% from a plan disclosed last September to spend ¥57.4 billion on small-scale OLED production lines by June 2018.”

“Yoshio Tamura, a co-founder of market research and consulting firm Display Supply Chain Consultants, said Sharp’s planned production would translate into about 15 million smartphone display panels a year—insignificant, he said, given that the number of smartphones made annually is in the hundreds of millions. ‘Thirty thousand sheets a month is equal to doing nothing,’ he said,” Mochizuki reports. “Sharp and Japan Display have long supplied Apple with liquid-crystal displays. Both are working on ways to create bendable or differently shaped LCD screens, and executives have suggested that rather than OLED, improved LCD technology might become the future standard.”

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MacDailyNews Take: An $878 million toe in the water.

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