Sharp will supply technological know-how to Foxconn’s parent company, Taiwan’s Hon Hai Precision, for a new plant in China that will produce panels for Apple’s iPhone and other consumer electronics products, Reuters reports.
An agreement to share its technology would further tie Sharp to Hon Hai, which in March agreed to buy a 46.48 percent stake in Sharp’s liquid crystal manufacturing plant in Japan, the nation’s most advanced panel factory.
Hon Hai in March also agreed to purchase new shares in Sharp worth US$844 million, giving it an 11 percent stake in the company.
Sharp’s partnership with Foxconn will reportedly improve “quality management” at the new facility.
A Sharp spokeswoman said the company was “considering a number of options”, but declined to comment on the report.
The Foxconn-Sharp deal promoted speculation that the two companies could be aligning to produce IGZO displays for the rumoured Apple iTV.
Sharp also announced this week that Sharp Display Products, its subsidiary that operates in the Japan plant, will buy back a 7.04 percent stake owned by Sony Corp, ending the partnership between the two. Following the Sharp-Hon Hai agreement in March, Sony had said that it could ask Sharp to buy back its stake.