Sharp provides OLED panels in its own new smartphones after this year and intends to market the displays to other producers, though it has signalled it’s cautious about a rapid growth in OLED as momentum to its thinner but more costly displays slows.
The move comes as the Osaka-based electronics manufacturer, a significant provider of iPhone liquid crystal display (LCD) displays, continues its comeback after being purchased a couple of decades back from Taiwan’s Foxconn.
The business hasn’t yet attained any bargains for earnings to other smartphone manufacturers, a spokeswoman said in a launch role in Tokyo.
Sharp has thus far spent JPY 57.4 billion ($505 million) to make OLED panels in western Japan, less than a third of the projected 200 billion yen investment which has been declared by Foxconn in the time of its acquisition in 2016.
Sharp executives have stated a change from traditional LCD displays to more flexible OLED displays has been slower than anticipated as a result of high rates, which makes the company cautious about competitive OLED capacity growth in the near term.
The slower endorsement of pricier OLED panels has also provided some aid to Japan Screen Inc, yet another iPhone LCD screen provider lagging behind Samsung and LG Screen in OLED technology.
Japan Screen has stated it might push back the beginning of OLED business production, now scheduled for 2019, while trying a partner to help fund the launching of a mass production line. Analysts say it generally costs over JPY 200 billion ($1.8 billion) to begin a mass production line.
“To our surpriseour customers aren’t moving away from LCD panels,” Chief Financial Officer Takanobu Oshima stated in August.
South Korea’s Electronic Times reported earlier this year that Apple has opted to use OLED displays in all 3 new iPhone versions intended for next season, in comparison to 2 OLED versions this year.
But industry sources have told Reuters that Apple wouldn’t completely abandon low-cost LCD displays at least for next year.
Nevertheless, analysts say that the OLED panel market may pick up if improvements in manufacturing efficiency at Chinese and Korean panel manufacturers lead to lower prices. OLED panels provide richer colors than LCDs and permit for foldable telephones.