Sharp Display Co., one of Japan’s premier LED-LCD display manufacturers, recently hired a new chief executive; and the newly appointed head honcho recently spilled some pretty big beans.
Speaking to students at his alma mater, Taiwan-based Tatung University, this weekend, recently appointed CEO of Sharp Display, Tai Jeng-wu, commented on Apple’s future plans — indicating that the Cupertino, California-based tech-titan would indeed be switching to OLED display technology soon.
“The iPhone has been evolving and now it is switching from LTPS (low-temperature poly-silicon) to OLED panels,” Jeng-wu said. “We don’t know whether Apple’s OLED iPhones will be a hit, but if Apple doesn’t walk down this path and transform itself, there will be no innovation. It is a crisis but it is also an opportunity.”
Jeng-wu added that his company is currently in the process of building out a new OLED display manufacturing facility in Japan — and that, if need be, Sharp could also produce OLED panels in the U.S.
“If our key customer demands us to manufacture in the U.S., is it possible for us not to do so?” he said.
Some might be wondering what makes Jeng-wu so sure of Apple’s imminent switch in technologies, and so it’s important to note how deep the relationship between Sharp and Apple really is. Jeng-wu was appointed as CEO of Sharp Display back in August of this year, while he also maintains an executive position at the firm’s new parent company, Foxconn.
As far as Apple’s supply chain is pertinent, Sharp Display has for years provided the Silicon Valley tech-giant with LCD panels for a variety of its products; while Foxconn, Apple’s long-time general manufacturing partner who recently acquired Sharp’s display division, handles the bulk majority of U.S.-bound iPhone display orders.
Beyond his brief mention of Apple’s OLED aspirations, however, Jeng-wu didn’t provide any additional details — such as a potential launch timeline for Apple’s OLED-equipped iPhone, for instance. However, based on the litany of mumblings from the rumor mill, Apple will be making the switch to OLED most likely ahead of the 2017, 10th anniversary iPhones.
Whether Sharp Display, itself, has the capacity to produce such large quantities of OLED display panels by next year remains to be seen; however, it’s quite unlikely that the firm will have a part in developing the 2017 iPhone’s display. To be fair, the Japanese display-maker recently announced that it would be infusing upwards of $588 million into its OLED business, however that likely won’t be happening until at least the 2nd quarter of 2018, according to earlier reports.
Are you looking forward to an iPhone featuring OLED display tech? Let us know in the comments!