Japan Display Inc (JDI), an LCD technology joint venture by Sony, Toshiba, and Hitachi, recently announced that it plans to raise over $500 million which it will use towards manufacturing LCD displays for next-gen iPhones. The company has been struggling to stay afloat because Apple opted for an OLED display in its latest flagship, the iPhone X.
According to a recent report from Apple Insider, analysts had predicted a major drop in profits for the company as Apple is its largest customer for LCD panels. The company was considering transitioning to OLED manufacturing, but now, intends to raise $517 million from third-party share allocations and asset sales to keep the production going and ensure adequate capacity.
Previously, reports revealed that Apple will be sticking with LCDs for some models of the iPhone which will be released this fall. This is good news for JDI, as it now expects a massive order of LCD panels for the upcoming iPhones. The company expects to raise 35 billion yen through newly issued shares, 30 billion yen from overseas investors and 5 billion yen from Japanese LED maker Nichia. The investment from Nichia will give it a 3.5 percent stake in JDI on a voting rights basis. Further, JDI plans to sell a currently unused plant in the Ishikawa prefecture to government-backed Innovation Network Corp. for another 20 billion yen.
Previous reports also claimed that Apple might be interested in purchasing Full Active LCD panels from JDI for 2018 iPhone models. The Full Active LCD technology, which offers the same benefits of OLED, costs far less and may be a viable option for Apple as it transitions away from traditional LCDs.