OSAKA, Nov. 22 (Kyodo) — Struggling electronics maker Sharp Corp. is considering supplying liquid crystal display panels that are now made at its Kameyama plant in central Japan specifically for Apple Inc. to other manufacturers including a Chinese firm, sources close to the matter said Friday.
The Osaka-based company currently produces LCD panels for Apple’s iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c smartphones at its Kameyama Plant No. 1, but it is seeking to diversify its customer base for the panels due to uncertainty about how long the popularity of the new handsets will last, the sources said.
In order to procure LCD panels stably for iPhones, the U.S. technology giant has invested a little less than 100 billion yen in the plant, with the operating rate of around 80 percent currently, according to the sources.
Sharp has been holding talks with Apple to obtain understanding over diversifying its supply destinations, the sources said.