Apple to reportedly invest $100M in struggling supplier Japan Display

Posted:
in General Discussion edited June 26
Apple has agreed to invest $100 million in Japan Display Inc., better known as JDI, as the struggling LCD manufacturer continues efforts to restructure its business in a bid to stay afloat, according to a local report Thursday.

iPhone XRApple's iPhone XR is expected to be one of the last to use LCD screen technology.


Citing sources familiar with the matter, the Asahi Shimbun reports Apple intends to increase aid to JDI through Chinese investment company Harvest Group which, along with Hong Kong fund Oasis Management, is negotiating a 58.2 billion yen (about $540 million) infusion into the Japanese display maker.

Apple initially planned to throw in with TPK Holding, a Taiwan-based electronics supplier that was part of a consortium negotiating a bailout of the embattled screen maker. TPK opted to walk away earlier in June, taking with it a planned $230 million contribution.

Apple's $100 million sum is much lower than JDI's original request of $185 million, which came with contingencies for waiving money owed and guaranteeing LCD orders. At the time, a Wall Street Journal source claimed Apple was willing to consider JDI's ask, but warned the tech giant might not be willing to pay the full amount.

"We are not sure yet if we would really need to tap Apple to chip in, and the amount could be lower..., but they are at least showing willingness," the person said. "You'd be surprised to see how supportive Apple is to us."

Whether Apple is also considering to waive JDI's debt as part of the continuing bailout talks is unknown.

A major Apple supplier, JDI has furnished LCD displays for iPhone for years. In a crucial misstep, however, the Japanese company continued to invest heavily in LCD technology while largely ignoring a wider industry trend toward OLED panels.

Apple, which accounts for some 60% of JDI's sales, launched its first OLED handset with iPhone X in 2017, and last year debuted two OLED smartphones in iPhone XS and XS Max. The company is expected to field an all-OLED iPhone lineup in 2020.

JDI is working to build out its OLED production capabilities and is reportedly slated to supply a portion of OLED panels for a next-generation Apple Watch. While steps are being taken to reduce risk, including a split of JDI's LCD business, the Japanese firm faces an uphill battle in a competitive field dominated by Korean companies like Samsung and LG Display.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 20
    AppleExposedAppleExposed Posts: 1,672unconfirmed, member
    This is great if we see more Liquid Retina displays in the future. They are great and cheap. Hopefully an iPhone SE with Liquid Retina will release or a price drop in XR later this year.

    I wanna ask though, what exactly does Apple gain in "investing" in these companies? I'm confused there.
  • Reply 2 of 20
    mdriftmeyermdriftmeyer Posts: 7,318member
    This is great if we see more Liquid Retina displays in the future. They are great and cheap. Hopefully an iPhone SE with Liquid Retina will release or a price drop in XR later this year.

    I wanna ask though, what exactly does Apple gain in "investing" in these companies? I'm confused there.

    This is a no-brainer for Apple. Japan Display is the one providing the microLED for the new Mac Pro Displays.
    iqatedo
  • Reply 3 of 20
    AppleExposedAppleExposed Posts: 1,672unconfirmed, member
    This is great if we see more Liquid Retina displays in the future. They are great and cheap. Hopefully an iPhone SE with Liquid Retina will release or a price drop in XR later this year.

    I wanna ask though, what exactly does Apple gain in "investing" in these companies? I'm confused there.

    This is a no-brainer for Apple. Japan Display is the one providing the microLED for the new Mac Pro Displays.

    So Apple is helping with the hopes Japan Display won't die soon? I mean, that's pretty charitable. Is no one else able to fulfill orders?
  • Reply 4 of 20
    hentaiboyhentaiboy Posts: 1,029member
    I'm guessing that if Japan Display fails, Apple has a major problem on its hands.
  • Reply 5 of 20
    canukstormcanukstorm Posts: 1,981member
    This is great if we see more Liquid Retina displays in the future. They are great and cheap. Hopefully an iPhone SE with Liquid Retina will release or a price drop in XR later this year.

    I wanna ask though, what exactly does Apple gain in "investing" in these companies? I'm confused there.

    This is a no-brainer for Apple. Japan Display is the one providing the microLED for the new Mac Pro Displays.
    With the exception of the Watch, I don't know why Apple went to OLED for iPhone.  Their LCD displays are second to none.  They're every bit as good as mobile OLED displays in use.
    JWSCpscooter63n2itivguy
  • Reply 6 of 20
    SoliSoli Posts: 9,356member
    This is great if we see more Liquid Retina displays in the future. They are great and cheap. Hopefully an iPhone SE with Liquid Retina will release or a price drop in XR later this year.

    I wanna ask though, what exactly does Apple gain in "investing" in these companies? I'm confused there.

    This is a no-brainer for Apple. Japan Display is the one providing the microLED for the new Mac Pro Displays.

    So Apple is helping with the hopes Japan Display won't die soon? I mean, that's pretty charitable. Is no one else able to fulfill orders?
    This isn’t charity. This is business. Altruism has nothing to do with their decision to invest in JD.
    JWSCpscooter63iqatedotmay
  • Reply 7 of 20
    AppleExposedAppleExposed Posts: 1,672unconfirmed, member
    This is great if we see more Liquid Retina displays in the future. They are great and cheap. Hopefully an iPhone SE with Liquid Retina will release or a price drop in XR later this year.

    I wanna ask though, what exactly does Apple gain in "investing" in these companies? I'm confused there.

    This is a no-brainer for Apple. Japan Display is the one providing the microLED for the new Mac Pro Displays.
    With the exception of the Watch, I don't know why Apple went to OLED for iPhone.  Their LCD displays are second to none.  They're every bit as good as mobile OLED displays in use.

    Agreed. Idiots who don't understand display tech can mock Apples LCD and mock the name "Liquid Retina" but that display is amazing and cheap!

    I hope Apple keeps them coming and an SE version will be priced perfectly.
    JWSCpscooter63n2itivguy
  • Reply 8 of 20
    This is great if we see more Liquid Retina displays in the future. They are great and cheap. Hopefully an iPhone SE with Liquid Retina will release or a price drop in XR later this year.

    I wanna ask though, what exactly does Apple gain in "investing" in these companies? I'm confused there.

    This is a no-brainer for Apple. Japan Display is the one providing the microLED for the new Mac Pro Displays.
    Wait what?  This comment is giving me a headache for a number of reasons.  Did you just make something up?  When did JD get into mLED and when was it announced the new Apple Display was mLED.  Everything I've read says it's an LCD.  Could you have meant miniLED? 
  • Reply 9 of 20
    mpantonempantone Posts: 1,432member
    Soli said:
    This is great if we see more Liquid Retina displays in the future. They are great and cheap. Hopefully an iPhone SE with Liquid Retina will release or a price drop in XR later this year.

    I wanna ask though, what exactly does Apple gain in "investing" in these companies? I'm confused there.

    This is a no-brainer for Apple. Japan Display is the one providing the microLED for the new Mac Pro Displays.

    So Apple is helping with the hopes Japan Display won't die soon? I mean, that's pretty charitable. Is no one else able to fulfill orders?
    This isn’t charity. This is business. Altruism has nothing to do with their decision to invest in JD.
    Soli is right. Apple is not spending $100 million on JDI Girl Scout cookies.

    My guess is that Apple is trying to keep JDI solvent until the latter's OLED production is useful to Apple.

    The Mac component is not the driver. Apple's revenue is driven by iPhones thus they will focus many of their business decisions on that business unit. Mac Pros are a smidgen of Apple's Mac sales and probably account for small, single digit percent points of total Apple revenue.

    As other Apple product lines slowly transition to OLED, JDI's ability to remain a viable component supplier will depend on their ability to generate newer product. Apple doesn't need 100,000 LCD panels for Mac Pro displays.
    SoliJWSCpscooter631STnTENDERBITS
  • Reply 10 of 20
    davidwdavidw Posts: 977member
    This is great if we see more Liquid Retina displays in the future. They are great and cheap. Hopefully an iPhone SE with Liquid Retina will release or a price drop in XR later this year.

    I wanna ask though, what exactly does Apple gain in "investing" in these companies? I'm confused there.
    Hopefully, another supplier for OLED screens. Right now only Samsung and LG are supplying OLED screens for all of the Apple devices that are using them. With Samsung supplying the vast majority of them. LG is probably making as many OLED screens as they possibly can and it probably doesn't even come close to what Apple needs or will be needing when all iDevices are OLED. On the other hand, Samsung has the capacity to supply all of Apple OLED screens needs but that is not what Apple wants. Apple do not want to have to rely on (or be over reliant on) a single source for their OLED screens needs. Specially if that single source is Samsung. The more sources for OLED screens, the more bargaining power Apple has with Samsung. 

    This a a page out of IBM standard operating procedure. IBM is famous for requiring at least two sources for the components they use. Intel wanted the contract to supply IBM PC's with Intel CPU's. But IBM wouldn't go along useless there was a second source for the CPU. So Intel gave AMD a license to produce compatible X86 CPU. This became IBM second source for the Intel CPU's and Intel got the contract to supply the CPU in IBM PC's. I'm not sure if IBM ever built any of their PC's using an AMD X86 CPU.     


    JWSC1STnTENDERBITS
  • Reply 11 of 20
    irelandireland Posts: 17,684member
    This is great if we see more Liquid Retina displays in the future. They are great and cheap. Hopefully an iPhone SE with Liquid Retina will release or a price drop in XR later this year.

    I wanna ask though, what exactly does Apple gain in "investing" in these companies? I'm confused there.

    This is a no-brainer for Apple. Japan Display is the one providing the microLED for the new Mac Pro Displays.
    Pro Display is not mLED. Traditional IPS-class TFT. No self-emitting backlight technology here. Just clever application of traditional display technology, to achieve those high contrast-ratios and premium black levels. I have heard it being referred to, on a podcast, as miniLED, so this may be where you are getting mixed up? Though Apple has never employed such terminology for the display.

    https://www.ledinside.com/news/2018/5/difference_between_micro_led_and_mini_led
    edited June 27 1STnTENDERBITSfastasleep
  • Reply 12 of 20
    @mpantone and @davidw have the right answer imo.  Apple wants another source of OLED panels where they control the price.  They've already spent a couple of billion to support LG's small panel OLED production.  Keeping JD viable long enough for their OLED capacity to hit the market gives them two suppliers to offset Samsung.  Not only would they have an offset for Samsung, more importantly, they'd have a supply that they control... and I think that's the most important thing for them.
    n2itivguy
  • Reply 13 of 20
    bigtdsbigtds Posts: 150member
    This is great if we see more Liquid Retina displays in the future. They are great and cheap. Hopefully an iPhone SE with Liquid Retina will release or a price drop in XR later this year.

    I wanna ask though, what exactly does Apple gain in "investing" in these companies? I'm confused there.

    This is a no-brainer for Apple. Japan Display is the one providing the microLED for the new Mac Pro Displays.
    With the exception of the Watch, I don't know why Apple went to OLED for iPhone.  Their LCD displays are second to none.  They're every bit as good as mobile OLED displays in use.
    Apple went with OLED because it's better. Better contrast, Better color and better viewing angles. The only downside is burn-in.
  • Reply 14 of 20
    crowleycrowley Posts: 6,056member
    bigtds said:
    This is great if we see more Liquid Retina displays in the future. They are great and cheap. Hopefully an iPhone SE with Liquid Retina will release or a price drop in XR later this year.

    I wanna ask though, what exactly does Apple gain in "investing" in these companies? I'm confused there.

    This is a no-brainer for Apple. Japan Display is the one providing the microLED for the new Mac Pro Displays.
    With the exception of the Watch, I don't know why Apple went to OLED for iPhone.  Their LCD displays are second to none.  They're every bit as good as mobile OLED displays in use.
    Apple went with OLED because it's better. Better contrast, Better color and better viewing angles. The only downside is burn-in.
    And cost.
  • Reply 16 of 20
    mknelsonmknelson Posts: 368member
    bigtds said:
    Apple went with OLED because it's better. Better contrast, Better color and better viewing angles. The only downside is burn-in.
    I've had an iPhone X since November 2017 and I dispute some of this - OLED is not as good as LCD under bright sun. A reflective screen still works better than an emissive screen under that circumstance.

    The brighter XS screen helps, but I still had an easier time reading my iPhone 6's display while sitting on the patio.
  • Reply 17 of 20
    bigtdsbigtds Posts: 150member
    mknelson said:
    bigtds said:
    Apple went with OLED because it's better. Better contrast, Better color and better viewing angles. The only downside is burn-in.
    I've had an iPhone X since November 2017 and I dispute some of this - OLED is not as good as LCD under bright sun. A reflective screen still works better than an emissive screen under that circumstance.

    The brighter XS screen helps, but I still had an easier time reading my iPhone 6's display while sitting on the patio.
    Under normal (indoor) viewing environments, OLED is still better.
  • Reply 18 of 20
    AppleExposedAppleExposed Posts: 1,672unconfirmed, member
    Soli said:
    This is great if we see more Liquid Retina displays in the future. They are great and cheap. Hopefully an iPhone SE with Liquid Retina will release or a price drop in XR later this year.

    I wanna ask though, what exactly does Apple gain in "investing" in these companies? I'm confused there.

    This is a no-brainer for Apple. Japan Display is the one providing the microLED for the new Mac Pro Displays.

    So Apple is helping with the hopes Japan Display won't die soon? I mean, that's pretty charitable. Is no one else able to fulfill orders?
    This isn’t charity. This is business. Altruism has nothing to do with their decision to invest in JD.

    It didn't sound right to me but who am I to know?

    davidw said:
    This is great if we see more Liquid Retina displays in the future. They are great and cheap. Hopefully an iPhone SE with Liquid Retina will release or a price drop in XR later this year.

    I wanna ask though, what exactly does Apple gain in "investing" in these companies? I'm confused there.
    Hopefully, another supplier for OLED screens. Right now only Samsung and LG are supplying OLED screens for all of the Apple devices that are using them. With Samsung supplying the vast majority of them. LG is probably making as many OLED screens as they possibly can and it probably doesn't even come close to what Apple needs or will be needing when all iDevices are OLED. On the other hand, Samsung has the capacity to supply all of Apple OLED screens needs but that is not what Apple wants. Apple do not want to have to rely on (or be over reliant on) a single source for their OLED screens needs. Specially if that single source is Samsung. The more sources for OLED screens, the more bargaining power Apple has with Samsung. 

    This a a page out of IBM standard operating procedure. IBM is famous for requiring at least two sources for the components they use. Intel wanted the contract to supply IBM PC's with Intel CPU's. But IBM wouldn't go along useless there was a second source for the CPU. So Intel gave AMD a license to produce compatible X86 CPU. This became IBM second source for the Intel CPU's and Intel got the contract to supply the CPU in IBM PC's. I'm not sure if IBM ever built any of their PC's using an AMD X86 CPU.     



    THIS makes a lot of sense. Also, Apple knows more than we do. Maybe Japan Display is prepping for OLED and this infusion of money means a discount for Apple later.

    crowley said:
    bigtds said:
    This is great if we see more Liquid Retina displays in the future. They are great and cheap. Hopefully an iPhone SE with Liquid Retina will release or a price drop in XR later this year.

    I wanna ask though, what exactly does Apple gain in "investing" in these companies? I'm confused there.

    This is a no-brainer for Apple. Japan Display is the one providing the microLED for the new Mac Pro Displays.
    With the exception of the Watch, I don't know why Apple went to OLED for iPhone.  Their LCD displays are second to none.  They're every bit as good as mobile OLED displays in use.
    Apple went with OLED because it's better. Better contrast, Better color and better viewing angles. The only downside is burn-in.
    And cost.

    And brightness and.....
  • Reply 19 of 20
    tmaytmay Posts: 3,979member
    gatorguy said:

    "Why didn't Apple give their long time display suppliers enough time to bring in OLED machinery and remain their suppliers? On paper it looks as though Apple didn't blink in hurting, severly hurting two key suppliers.  What was the rush to OLED all about?

     What was stranger, perhaps, is that not only did two faithful suppliers get absolutely crushed by Apple's shift to OLED without a timely heads-up but that Apple chose their long time enemy Samsung to be their exclusive OLED supplier. A copycat company that dragged out Apple's patent infringement case out for a decade."


    What indeed was the rush to OLED all about, as if that even needs an explanation.


    The truth is, that 2 years is a lifetime in the industry. It's hard to imagine that JD was unaware of this disruption just around the corner, nor that LG was not ramping up on its OLED technology, that unfortunately, was not the superior OLED technology that Samsung was providing, the individual screens of which were an extremely expensive add to the BOM of the iPhone X.

    Yet here we are, with Apple again setting up JD for another rug pulling event. /s

  • Reply 20 of 20
    This is great if we see more Liquid Retina displays in the future. They are great and cheap. Hopefully an iPhone SE with Liquid Retina will release or a price drop in XR later this year.

    I wanna ask though, what exactly does Apple gain in "investing" in these companies? I'm confused there.

    This is a no-brainer for Apple. Japan Display is the one providing the microLED for the new Mac Pro Displays.
    The LEDs used in the Pro Display XDR do not appear to be microLED (nor miniLED, for that matter) There are only 576 of them being used for a local dimming type Back Light Unit, so no need to be micro or mini.

    From https://www.apple.com/pro-display-xdr/ : 

    "576 blue LEDs work together.

    Typical LCDs are edge-lit by a strip of white LEDs. The 2D backlighting system in Pro Display XDR is unlike any other. It uses a superbright array of 576 blue LEDs that allows for unmatched light control compared with white LEDs. Twelve controllers rapidly modulate each LED so that areas of the screen can be incredibly bright while other areas are incredibly dark. All of this produces an extraordinary contrast that’s the foundation for XDR."

    fastasleep
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