Apple supplier Japan Display Inc. rxpcts a new a deal for least 50 billion yen ($468 million) in funding by the end of the month, following the recent decision of a Chinese investor group to pull out of a bailout plan.
Speaking to Reuters, the company's Chief Executive Minoru Kikuoka said that liquid crystal display (LCD) screens are drawing renewed market interest, pointing to solid demand for affordable smartphones with low-cost screens.
“We are close to 50 billion and I believe we can cement the deal this month,” said Kikuoka, who took over the display maker in September.
Last month, Chinese investment firm Harvest Group withdrew from the consortium of investors behind the bailout.
Japan Display has said Hong Kong-based Oasis Management still plans to contribute $150-180 million, while a major Japan Display client, which sources said is Apple, intends to invest $200 million.
The Japanese display maker has been unprofitable for the last five years, as a late shift to organic light-emitting diode (OLED) screens has cost it orders from Apple. The U.S. tech giant accounted for 60.6% of Japan Display’s revenue in the last financial year ended March.
Orders for LCD screens from a major customer have been “stronger than previously planned,” Kikuoka said. Nikkei Asian Review had reported that Apple has asked suppliers to increase production of its iPhone 11 models by around 10%.
Kikuoka also said the company has started producing OLED screens. Sources have said Japan Display will produce OLED screens for the Apple Watch this year.