Apple is reportedly planning to expand its investment in Taiwan by building a new plant in the Longtan section of Hsinchu Science Park, northern Taiwan, Focus Taiwan (CNA) reports.
According to the investment application data obtained by CNA, the science park administration gave the greenlight to Apple’s Taiwan branch on Feb. 18 to set up a new plant in Longtan, Taoyuan, where the U.S. firm currently has operations.
Chang Shih-chang (張世昌), a former executive of TPO Displays, is expected to run the new Apple plant. TPO was acquired by flat panel maker Innolux Corp. in 2010.
While sources in the science park bureau declined to disclose any financial terms or product details about the new investment plan, the Taiwan-based Chinese language Economic Daily News reported earlier Monday that the investment is expected to be about NT$10 billion (US$334 million).
The report said Apple is likely to pour several billion Taiwan dollars into the initial phase of the investment plan to boost next generation monitor production as well as engage in monitor research and development.
According to the report, Apple is planning to team up with Taiwan-based LED lighting maker Epistar Corp. and flat panel maker AU Optornics Corp. in monitor development in a bid to reduce the company’s dependence on Japanese and South Korean suppliers.
The report said Apple has had a lab in Longtan since 2014 and with the new investment, the company aims to roll out Mini LED and Micro LED related displays.
MacDailyNews Take: Back in December 2019, DigiTimes reported that Taiwan-based supply chain makers including Epistar, General Interface Solution (GIS), Taiwan Surface Mounting Technology (TSMT), Zhen Ding Technology and Flexium Interconnect were poised to receive orders for components to be used in a 12.9-inch Mini LED iPad Pro that Apple was said to launch in calendar third-quarter 2020.
This adds further confirmation that Mini LED is ready for the type of high volume production Apple requires as, earlier in December 2019, Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo reiterated that Apple was planning four to six products with mini-LED displays over the next two to three years, including a high-end 12.9-inch iPad Pro for Q320.