As Apple display partner Sharp continues to bleed, new owner Foxconn shakes up management

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While display panel maker Sharp continues to lose money, the Japanese company faces a sweeping management reorganization under the thumb of its new owner, Apple manufacturing partner Foxconn.



Despite being a favorite among Japanese consumers due to its long history in pioneering new electronics, Sharp has nonetheless faced a series of continued losses since its 2012 big investment in large displays and solar panels. Sharp's losses in 2015 totaled ?256 billion ($2.37 billion U.S.).

Current Sharp CEO Kozo Takahashi attributed those losses to stiff competition for smartphones and displays, as well as lower demand from China, according to The Wall Street Journal. In a statement on Thursday, he took took responsibility for the company's last two years of heavy losses.

"A leader has to be successful all the time," Takahashi said. "Any large mistakes will blow up all previous success. This is an extremely painful thing."

Sharp is set for a management shakeup once Foxconn's ownership goes into effect -- Takahashi will be replaced as CEO by Tai Jeng-Wu. Tai Jeng-Wu is second in command currently at Foxconn under Chairman Terry Gou and has been Gou's right-hand man for many years.

Foxconn has also announced plans to remove 12 of Sharp's 13 board members, and will reduce the board down to nine total members, with six appointed by Foxconn directly. Like the CEO switch, those changes are set to take place after Foxconn takes ownership.

Taiwanese-based Foxconn stepped in last month, agreeing to buy the electronics company for 389 billion yen (US$3.5 billion), lowering its initial offer by nearly $2.5 billion due to undisclosed liabilities.

Foxconn's acquisition of Sharp, already the primary display supplier of LCDs for Apple's iPad Pro, is viewed by many as an opportunity for Foxconn to muscle its way deeper into Apple's supply chain, well beyond just device assembly.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 8
    Herbivore2Herbivore2 Posts: 362member
    No one outside of Korea has anyone capable of producing OLED panels in sufficient quantities and at prices for the volumes that Apple operates at. 

    Foxconn's purchase of Sharp to gain Apple's display business will fail. 

    I eagerly await Apple's conversion from LCD to OLED across all of their product lines. 

    At this point, LG and Samsung are so far ahead of everyone else, it's going to take some doing to break into OLED. And the costs will be huge. If Sharp and JDI couldn't do it, it is seriously doubtful that anyone else will. Sony can't even build its own LCD panels, sourcing them from Samsung. And for all of the investment Sony has made into OLED, it is LG that makes the best large screen OLED television panel period. 

    Apple uses an LG OLED panel for the watch and it is a great screen. It is unfortunate that the iPhone 7 won't come with an OLED screen. I will patiently wait for the iPhone 8 to upgrade. 
    sockrolidcnocbui
  • Reply 2 of 8
    sockrolidsockrolid Posts: 2,788member
    ,...
    "A leader has to be successful all the time," Takahashi said. "Any large mistakes will blow up all previous success. This is an extremely painful thing."
    ...
    Capsule summary of Apple's history.
  • Reply 3 of 8
    joshajosha Posts: 901member
    sockrolid said:
    ,...
    "A leader has to be successful all the time," Takahashi said. "Any large mistakes will blow up all previous success. This is an extremely painful thing."
    ...
    Capsule summary of Apple's history.
    After Steve Jobs returned and saved Apple from certain death !

    So China has succeeded in taking over Japan, how history evolves in circles.  :o
  • Reply 4 of 8
    levilevi Posts: 344member
    No one outside of Korea has anyone capable of producing OLED panels in sufficient quantities and at prices for the volumes that Apple operates at. 

    Foxconn's purchase of Sharp to gain Apple's display business will fail. 

    I eagerly await Apple's conversion from LCD to OLED across all of their product lines. 

    At this point, LG and Samsung are so far ahead of everyone else, it's going to take some doing to break into OLED. And the costs will be huge. If Sharp and JDI couldn't do it, it is seriously doubtful that anyone else will. Sony can't even build its own LCD panels, sourcing them from Samsung. And for all of the investment Sony has made into OLED, it is LG that makes the best large screen OLED television panel period. 

    Apple uses an LG OLED panel for the watch and it is a great screen. It is unfortunate that the iPhone 7 won't come with an OLED screen. I will patiently wait for the iPhone 8 to upgrade. 
    Foxconn is Apple's closest and most important supplier. Apple gave them reason to buy - either capital or guaranteed sales. W/o that the deal makes absolutely no sense. 
  • Reply 5 of 8
    bobschlobbobschlob Posts: 1,074member
    No one outside of Korea has anyone capable of producing OLED panels in sufficient quantities and at prices for the volumes that Apple operates at. 

    Foxconn's purchase of Sharp to gain Apple's display business will fail. 

    I eagerly await Apple's conversion from LCD to OLED across all of their product lines. 

    At this point, LG and Samsung are so far ahead of everyone else, it's going to take some doing to break into OLED. And the costs will be huge. If Sharp and JDI couldn't do it, it is seriously doubtful that anyone else will. Sony can't even build its own LCD panels, sourcing them from Samsung. And for all of the investment Sony has made into OLED, it is LG that makes the best large screen OLED television panel period. 

    Apple uses an LG OLED panel for the watch and it is a great screen. It is unfortunate that the iPhone 7 won't come with an OLED screen. I will patiently wait for the iPhone 8 to upgrade. 
    I've got news for you; everybody (even Samsung) sources some of their panels from other manufacturers. Yep "Samsung".
  • Reply 6 of 8
    bobschlobbobschlob Posts: 1,074member


    Foxconn's acquisition of Sharp, already the primary display supplier of LCDs for Apple's iPad Pro, is viewed by many as an opportunity for Foxconn to muscle its way deeper into Apple's supply chain, well beyond just device assembly.
    I'm quite sure Apple had a lot to do with making this Foxconn / Sharp deal happen.
  • Reply 7 of 8
    flaneurflaneur Posts: 4,510member
    No one outside of Korea has anyone capable of producing OLED panels in sufficient quantities and at prices for the volumes that Apple operates at. 

    Foxconn's purchase of Sharp to gain Apple's display business will fail. 

    I eagerly await Apple's conversion from LCD to OLED across all of their product lines. 

    At this point, LG and Samsung are so far ahead of everyone else, it's going to take some doing to break into OLED. And the costs will be huge. If Sharp and JDI couldn't do it, it is seriously doubtful that anyone else will. Sony can't even build its own LCD panels, sourcing them from Samsung. And for all of the investment Sony has made into OLED, it is LG that makes the best large screen OLED television panel period. 

    Apple uses an LG OLED panel for the watch and it is a great screen. It is unfortunate that the iPhone 7 won't come with an OLED screen. I will patiently wait for the iPhone 8 to upgrade. 
    No one, not even in Korea, can produce OLED screens in sufficient quantity to supply Apple's needs for their phones. Both LG and Samsung are building capacity for Apple in 2017 or more likely 2018 now. 

    As for larger screens, I believe the first OLED laptops and tablets are just now first appearing, but not from Apple. No way will Apple have a competitively priced supply of them for iPads or Macbooks for years. As for iMacs, we are just starting to see IGZO 4 and 5K LCDs, no monitors yet. OLED panels of this size — do they exist yet at all? Must be expensive and rare, if so.


  • Reply 8 of 8
    sensisensi Posts: 346member
    josha said:
    So China has succeeded in taking over Japan, how history evolves in circles.
    China's GDP PPP has surpassed Japan's one at the end of the previous century, so it has been as such for the past 17 years, nowadays they are ranked first worldwide by GDP PPP, but there we are speaking of a companies, with one being Taiwanese rather than simply Chinese.
    edited May 2016
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