Nikkan Kogyo Shimbun, a popular Japanese newspaper, has suggested that Apple will use Toshiba as their unique manufacturer of iPhone liquid crystal displays, instead of Sharp, with whom Apple had also intended to partner initially.
The Japanese newspaper reported one year ago that Apple had investment plans of more than Y100 billion, both at Toshiba and Sharp, in order to assure the supply of this important component for its top-selling product – the iPhone.
Sharp officials have denied the assumptions, saying that Nikkan’s report “contradicts the facts”. Toshiba’s representatives didn’t make any official statement, refusing to comment on the event. If the Japanese newspaper is right, then Sharp could end up losing a huge deal, as the rumours were that Apple planned to invest $1 billion in Sharp’s facility.
Another Japanese newspaper, Nikkei Business Daily, asserted that Apple has already started its investment at Toshiba’s factory in Ishikawa, Japan; although a Toshiba mouthpiece denied the gossip yet again, informing Reuters that “the report was untrue and nothing had been decided”. Most probably, Apple hasn’t yet made an official announcement on this matter, because the Japanese economy hasn’t recovered from the recent disaster.
LCD components have proved to play a crucial role in Apple’s supply chain, with iPad and iPad 2 supply shortages being caused by LCD delays.