“Japan Display Inc, the world’s biggest smartphone LCD maker, got a third of its revenue from Apple Inc in the year to March, growing more reliant on the iPhone even as it seeks to bump up orders from fast-growing Chinese smartphone makers,” Sophie Knight reports for Reuters. “The display maker, which supplies screens for the iPhone along with Sharp Corp and LG Display Co Ltd, is expected to further increase sales to Apple this year with the release of the iPhone 6, which supply chain sources say will sport larger panels than previous generations.”
“But while the popularity of the iPhone makes Apple hard to turn down – 153 million handsets were sold in 2013, up 13 percent on the year – doing business with the California company can be a mixed blessing, sources close to suppliers say,” Knight reports. “Apple squeezes its parts suppliers hard on price, resulting in narrow margins, the sources say, while a high reliance on its product cycle can cause large swings in quarterly profits.”
“Japan Display said in May that it expected to log an operating loss for the April-June quarter, but foresees a rebound in shipments to Europe and the United States in the following three months to September,” Knight reports. “That is when Apple is widely expected to launch its next-generation iPhone 6, although Japan Display did not name which customers would boost shipments.”
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