A new report claims that Apple is in discussions with Japan Display over a possible financing deal for a new LCD factory in Ishikawa for next year. Apple is said to be considering an investment of somewhere around 200 billion yen (Just under $1.7 billion USD).
The factory would churn out the same types of low-temperature polycrystalline silicon displays that are currently used in the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus. Japanese news sources also say the factory could eventually be repurposed to build OLED panels like those found in the Apple Watch—and possibly in future iPhones.
The output from the factory would not go exclusively to Apple, as current terms would see Japan Display being allowed to also sell their output to other companies.
Apple made a similar deal with GT Advanced Technologies to build a sapphire glass plant in Arizona. That deal fell through, following GT’s failure to create acceptable sapphire glass for use by Apple, leading to a visit to bankruptcy court for GT Advanced.
It should be noted however, that the output of the sapphire glass factory was to be for Apple’s consumption only. The Apple/Japan Display deal allows for more flexibility, as noted above.
The Mesa, AZ sapphire plant will be redeveloped by Apple as a $2 billion global data command center.