Apple is reportedly funding part of a new smartphone display plant run by Japan Display (JDI).
One of Apple’s challenges is to secure the supply chain for new product launches. Shortages could be devastating to sales numbers. Apple has established pretty aggressive ways to make sure that they get preferred treatment by the Asian supply chain. A new report in the Japanese newspaper Nikkan Kogyo Shimbum says that Apple is investing heavily in a new smartphone display plant operated and by Japan Display (JDI).
The new plant is set to be built in Ishikawa prefecture and is set to open in 2016. The cost is supposed to be 200 billion Yen ($1.7 billion). The paper says that Apple would foot most of the cost. The plant would though be not exclusively making smartphone displays for Apple. There is no comment from neither Apple or JDI on this report.
JDI was formed through the consolidation of the display panel businesses of Sony, Hitachi and Toshiba and commenced operations in 2012.
The display maker focuses on small and medium sized displays. Yesterday JDI unveiled a memory-in-pixel (MIP) reflective-type color LCD modules for wristwatch-type wearable devices which realize ultra-low power consumption. The power need of these reflective-type LCD modules is less than 0.5% that of transparent-type LCD modules. Samples will be available in March 2015 and the start of sales will be in July 2015. JDI says that 80% of the power consumed in smartwatches is by the display.
A color display with ultra-low power consumption is key for extending battery life of smartwatches. This timing would allow first smartwatches with this new display to reach the market in time for the Holiday shopping season.
Read the full report on Nikkan (Google Translated)
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