Foxconn is planning on using its new partnership with Sharp to build a new plant in China to manufacture screens for Apple’s iPhone. Foxconn will build the plant in Chengdu, China, and Sharp will receive tens of billions of yen in fees to assist in the project. The deal expands the partnership between the two companies, after Foxconn bought a 10 percent stake in Sharp in March worth $808 million.
Thursday’s report indicated that Foxconn’s new Chengdu plant will produce displays for a number of consumer electronics products, but the only one singled out by name was Apple’s iPhone. Foxconn is Apple’s main assembly partner, responsible for nearly all of its devices including the iPhone, iPad and Macs.
The partnership will reportedly improve “quality management” at the new facility. Foxconn already owns a 46.48 percent of Sharp’s liquid crystal manufacturing plant in Sakai, Japan, the facility is said to be the most advanced in the nation.
Industry watchers view Foxconn’s partnership with Sharp as a strategic move for both companies to increase their roles in Apple’s supply chain. One of Apple’s current main suppliers is Samsung, which is also a competitor in the smartphone, tablet and PC markets. And lawsuits, don’t forget lawsuits.
The deal has also prompted speculation that the two companies could be aligning to produce IGZO displays for an anticipated Apple television. Rumors have suggested that a full-featured television set from Apple could come as soon as the end of this year.