Japan Display Inc is considering buildin
a plant to supply smartphone screens fo
Apple Inc and is negotiating with the US
company for investment in the project, a
person familiar with the situation said o
The Japanese screen maker aims to be
the primary supplier of high-tech screen
for Apple's wildly popular iPhones, the
person told Reuters. Global iPhone sales,
notably in China, have surged to make
Apple the most profitable company in
Japan Display wants Apple to shoulder
much of the expected JPY 200 billion
($1.7 billion) investment in the plant,
which aims to be in operation next year,
the source said on condition of
anonymity as the talks remain
The Japanese company said in a
statement that it was constantly pursuin
opportunities to strengthen its
competitiveness, including building a ne
plant. "No formal decision has been
made regarding any matter that we need
to disclose," it said.
The most likely site for the plant is in
Ishikawa, central Japan, the source said
It would have a capacity greater than an
existing facility in Mobara, southeast of
Tokyo, which makes 50,000 of the 1.5 b
1.85 metre sheets a month for iPhone 6
screens and other uses, he said.
Japan Display Chief Executive Shuichi
Otsuka said last year that the company
needed a new plant as it was reaching
capacity at Mobara.
The company, formed in a government-
backed deal in 2012 from the ailing
display units of Sony Corp, Toshiba Corp
and Hitachi Ltd , has endured a rocky
spell since its listing in Tokyo last year.
But Japan Display this month reported a
rebound to profit from two quarters of
losses, boosted by demand from Apple
and Chinese smartphone makers, in star
contrast with Japanese competitor Shar
Corp's shrinking panel business.
Extra orders from Apple would boost
Japan Display in its rivalry with Sharp .
Japan Display's shares jumped 14
percent in early trade on the latest news
before closing up 5.4 percent. Sharp fell
2 percent, while the benchmark Nikkei
share index rose 0.4 percent.
Apple and Sharp both declined to
comment on the reports.