Japan Display Inc said it aims to clinch a deal this month for least 50 billion yen ($470 million) in vital funding, having had to scramble after an investment group suddenly pulled out of a bailout plan for the Apple Inc supplier.
For Apple, any collapse of Japan Display would hurt its ability to deliver competitive pricing for its new iPhone 11 base model which is $50 cheaper than last year’s XR model. It might also force the U.S. firm to turn to rival suppliers for liquid crystal displays (LCD) and increase its reliance on Samsung Display for organic light-emitting diode (OLED) screens.
Japan Display has said a major client, which sources with direct knowledge of the talks have said is Apple, intends to invest $200 million, double the amount it previously planned. Hong Kong-based Oasis Management will also contribute $150-180 million. A Japan Display supplier and other funds are also set take part.
MacDailyNews Take: Hopefully, for Japan Display’s sake (and for the sake of Apple supplier competition), $470+ million will be enough for Japan Display to get over the hump.
Apple needs suppliers who can make OLED screens – for iPhones, especially – which put competitive pressure on Samsung Display and drive down prices, ultimately allowing Apple to move even mass market iPhone models (2020’s “iPhone 12” or “iPhone 5G”) to OLED while keeping prices reasonable for their highest volume models. The goal is to foster competition in order to say buh-bye to “Liquid Retina LCD” ASAP. —
MacDailyNews, September 26, 2019