Samsung Electronics may buy stake in Apple-supplier Sharp

“Sharp Corp. and Samsung Electronics Co. are in talks for the South Korean technology giant to invest about 10 billion yen ($108 million) in the embattled Japanese firm, people familiar with the matter said Wednesday,” MarketWatch reports.

“Under the deal, Sharp may issue new shares to Samsung later this month and Samsung may become a key customer for Sharp’s liquid crystal display panels, the people said,” MarketWatch reports. “The investment from Samsung would come as Sharp–a big supplier to Apple Inc. — scrambles to raise funds and secure customers for its liquid crystal displays in an ongoing effort to prove to its bank lenders that its business prospects remain solid.”

MarketWatch reports, “Sharp’s decision to turn to Samsung–once its most feared rival in LCD panels and televisions–signals the desperate situation facing Sharp.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Hmm… Negotiating tactic? Apple – Sharp deal imminent? If not, Apple doesn’t consider Sharp a necessity.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Fred Mertz” for the heads up.]

Related articles:
Analyst: Apple a ‘prime candidate’ to adopt Sharp’s IGZO display technology in future devices – January 8, 2013
Hon Hai’s Terry Gou says investment talks in Sharp still on – December 5, 2012
Qualcomm to invest up to $120 million in Sharp; help with development of IGZO display technology – December 4, 2012
Sharp boosts IGZO display output; shares soar – October 22, 2012
Sharp tips highly efficient ‘iPad min’ IGZO screen tech – October 17, 2012
Is Sharp exhibiting high-res iPad mini IGZO displays? – October 2, 2012
Sharp’s IGZO display production issues forced Apple settle on Plan B for new iPad, says expert – May 7, 2012
Analyst: Retina display production issues persist for Apple iPad – April 23, 2012
Sharp announces production of world’s first IGZO LCD Panels – April 13, 2012
After using Apple’s new iPad with Retina display, old iPad screens become absolutely unacceptable – March 30, 2012
Apple ‘iTV’ beckons as jackpot in Hon Hai’s Sharp gamble – March 28, 2012
Foxconn-Sharp partnership likely targeting Apple orders – March 28, 2012
Taiwan Apple supplier Hon Hai becomes Sharp’s largest shareholder with 10% stake – March 28, 2012
Apple to unveil smaller 7.85-inch iPad this year, says anonymous Samsung official – March 13, 2012
Wow, Sharp sure is ramping up IGZO display production for some reason – March 2, 2012
Apple iTV unlikely to launch in 2012 due to IGZO display panel manufacturing concerns, sources say – February 3, 2012


  1. Sharp is not trustworthy either! That’s a big slap in thr face to apple. Foxconn was negotiating with Sharp and didn’t go well and now they talking with Samsung? Since when the Japanese lose their royalty?

    1. That’s too much an expectation from a biz point of view, isn’t it? They are two separate companies in the end. Rather, I guess “we” all really hate Samsung for being such a slavish copier of Apple products, and still be so broadly supported or allied with other major brands (Google really an evil here), besides every Samsung Galaxy users.

  2. “…and Samsung may become a key customer for Sharp’s liquid crystal displays…”

    Doesn’t Samsung make their own displays? Samsung is trying to buy up all the supply to screw Apple / force Apple to purchase from them. Don’t trust them. I would love to see Apple purchase Sharp displays / manufacture their own displays .

  3. It appears to me that Tim Cook, and Apple, are being outfought, outthought, outmanoeuvred, outspent, outflanked by Samsung and the law courts every step of the way.

    It’s like fighting the Taliban with one hand tied behind your back and the rules of engagement that say you can only use a peashooter while the Taliban are slitting the throats of everyone around them.

    I wouldn’t want Tim to be the head of SFOD-Delta (Combat Applications Group) because he just has no balls.

      1. Just because someone is either different from you or afflicted with a disability (depending upon how you look at it) is no reason to unfairly criticize them from some other point of view and use the unrelated situation to bash them with.

        Disclaimer: I’m a Catholic, a Republican, and I voted Yes on 8. And I still think that Tim’s personal situation has absolutely NOTHING to do with his performance at Apple, nor with his personal drive to accomplish.

        1. It was until Apple got on that list of supporters for gay marriage. We may have lost some investors in Apple’s stock when they did that. Tim can do what ever he wants on his time but should not drag Apple into any social battles that have nothing to do with what Apple does and that may harm the company and it’s investors.

          1. How about this? Mind your own business. Don’t pretend to be an expert on anything but what you are paid to do. Stop worrying about an apocalypse led by folks who are different than you.

            Apple’s problem is simple. Every one of the markets they participate in are now mature, robust and very competitive.

            The stock price is in line with this. Smart phones- commodity.
            Tablets- soon to be a commodity
            Desktop and laptop computers- ditto
            Watches- get real

            There is no disruptive trend to exploit.

            They make popular products that people want. But every market now has competition.

  4. If Apple consider Sharp so critical to its supply chain, it would have invested in Sharp heavily already.

    I guess Samsung will be in talk to invest in all Apple’s major supply chain partners such as Corning, FOXCONN, TSMC, Qualcomm…etc in an attempt to block out Apple. 🙂 Good luck with that!!

    However, Apple can in turn “invest heavily” in Samsung’s devices’ plastic-shit suppliers. 🙂

    Put all jokes aside, I firmly believe Apple know what it’s doing, it will continue to invest wisely, and not play into Samsung’s hands.

  5. no surprise here. Samsung knows the value of owning a dominant market share.

    I have far less faith than some here on these forums that Tim is an “operations genius” who has contingency plans all ready to implement. It is downright embarrassing to have one’s foremost iOS competitor also a foremost bottleneck in your production supply chain.

    Some of us have long advised that Apple consider much better vertical integration and diversified final assembly. Now more than ever, since Apple’s ability to differentiate its touchscreen products is shrinking and its supply chain possibly choked by a Korean python.

    Inking a display partnership with Sony or Panasonic or some other OLED innovator might not be a bad move – if Apple had bold and forward-thinking leadership.

    1. You’re overreacting a bit aren’t you? Samsung bought a small stake in Sharp they aren’t running the place. Apple can (does) develop their own display IP if they need to differentiate their displays from others, just as they do with other components.

      Apple averaged $110 million in PROFIT every day in fiscal 2012, if they really needed Sharp, they would’ve invested a while ago. The fact that Sharp needed financial assistance has been known for well over a year, when talk of Foxconn’s investment started.

      There are many other display manufacturers in the world, including the recently formed Japan Display that Apple could work with if they felt that Samsung was impeding on any advantages.

      1. Michael, please enlighten us.

        1) how many manufacturers today offer touchscreens suitable in quality and performance for an Apple iOS device?

        2) How long would it take Apple to replace an existing supplier if Samsung, through increased ownership, did restrict availability to Apple?

        I don’t think it’s over-reaction to ensure a robust (i.e., not single-sourced, “lean”) supply chain. Moreover, ownership has its privileges. That may includes anything from insider information and IP to, yes, operation control. Samsung has its foot in the door at Sharp. Check back in a year and see how that affects availability & pricing to Apple.

  6. Maybe cook wasn’t happy with Sharp’s performance in supplying displays for the iPhone 5. Think there were rumors of yield issues which prevented apple from meeting the iPhone 5 backlog?

  7. Well who’da thunk that so many MDN readers have no balls – just like the panicky shareholders reacting to the tiniest morsel of FUD, running around like headless chickens and advocating micro-management based on fear. Pure insanity.
    If Apple farts, they lose more in body weight than an investment in Sharp would cost them so you have to assume they have good reason for NOT investing more in Sharp, for NOT buying them, for NOT reacting to every wind change in a squall. How come you think the supply side genius that is Tim Cook, doesn’t know what he’s doing all of a sudden?
    Grow some!

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