Sharp Display Products (SDP), Foxconn, and Apple?


On July 1, 2009, Sharp transferred its LCD panel plant in Sakai City, Osaka Prefecture, to SDP. On December 29, 2009, Sony invested 10 billion yen into SDP in exchange for new shares issued by SDP to Sony (representing 7.04% of the issued shares in SDP) and, as a result, SDP became a joint venture company of Sharp and Sony.

Foxconn has invested about ¥67 billion in Sharp giving the Taiwan-based company 10% equity share. Sam Byford, The Verge:

Foxconn will also take over up to 50 percent of the LCD production at Sharp’s plant in Sakai, Osaka, potentially filling the gap left by the recent halving of output. The Sakai plant will now be owned 46.5 percent by Sharp, the same amount by Foxconn, and 7 percent by Sony.

My guess is Sharp will acquire all of Sony’s shares in SDP very soon. I initially wondered how all of this fits with Apple’s supposed investment in Sharp’s IGZO-based 9.7-inch Retina display production output for the iPad, but it is rumored those LCD panels will be manufactured in Sharp’s Kameyama-based Gen 6 fabs, which are not a part of SDP. Then I thought: With Foxconn the integrator of choice for Apple, and the Sakai plant being the largest fab in the world designed to manufacture really large LCD TVs, could there be an iTV connection here?