“A top maker of displays for Apple Inc. smartphones has asked a Japanese government-backed fund for hundreds of millions of dollars in aid, the latest sign of stress among Apple suppliers,” Takashi Mochizuki reports for The Wall Street Journal. “Japan Display Inc. said Tuesday it lost about $115 million in the April-June quarter and turned to its top shareholder, the government-backed Innovation Network Corp. of Japan, for support.”

“‘Our largest shareholder, INCJ, told us that they will continue to provide full-fledged support,’ said Japan Display’s chief executive, Mitsuru Homma. ‘My hope is the support would come in a way that doesn’t affect other existing shareholders,’ Mr. Homma said, indicating he doesn’t want to issue new shares to the fund, which already owns 35.6% of Japan Display,” Mochizuki reports. “Another Japan Display official said the company expected to get tens of billions of yen, or hundreds of millions of dollars, in loans and loan guarantees from the fund.”

“What amounts to a nagging cold for Apple, which still earned $7.8 billion in the most recent quarter, can quickly turn life-threatening for its suppliers. Japan Display’s revenue in the most recent quarter was down 29% compared with the year-earlier period,” Mochizuki reports. “Analysts say there might not be room left for Japan Display in an industry with tough competitors from China and South Korea.”

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MacDailyNews Take: The saga of Japanese display firms continues.

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Japan Display’s reliance on iPhone orders rises – June 24, 2014