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Foxconn, Sharp mulling Zhengzhou for OLED plant

Companies rushing to supply panels to Apple for the next iteration of the iPhone

Flags of Sharp and Foxconn

OSAKA -- Taiwan's Hon Hai Precision Industry and its Japanese subsidiary Sharp might build a factory in Zhengzhou, Henan Province, to make organic light-emitting diode panels.

The plant would cost at least 100 billion yen ($854 million), and the panels would be slapped on iPhones.

Apple, the U.S. company that gave birth to the smartphone, is expected to roll out OLED iPhones later this year.

The Taiwanese and Japanese companies will likely build the new plant in the Chinese city because Hon Hai, better known as Foxconn Technology Group, already operates an iPhone assembly plant there.

Making panels close to where iPhones are assembled will lower transportation and other costs, allowing Foxconn and Sharp to better compete against rival assemblers and parts makers.

Liquid crystal displays have monopolized the smartphone's touch real estate since the beginning. But OLED technology, which allows for brighter images, has long been looked at for next-generation screens.

Sharp has announced plans to spend 200 billion yen on its OLED panel business, including launching prototype lines in 2018 in locations such as its Sakai plant in Osaka Prefecture, western Japan.

Foxconn and Sharp were initially thinking of building an OLED plant in Japan but later shifted their focus to China, where local governments provide subsidies and other forms of support. 

(Nikkei)

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