Apple May Be Behind Sharp-Foxconn Deal
NEW YORK (Trefis) -- Rumors about the launch of Apple TV have been gaining strength with some even claiming that the new iProduct could be arriving as soon as in the second half of 2012.
Until now, however, we have not seen any evidence strong enough to support the claims. But with recent reports that leading Apple (AAPL) contract manufacturer, Foxconn's parent Hon Hai Precision Industry, has decided to buy a 11% stake in LCD display maker, Sharp, we finally see some credence in the rumors. Add to this the fact that Apple CEO, Tim Cook, is in China and has reportedly visited Foxconn's assembling unit and with this the possibility of Apple's own involvement in the deal becomes substantial.
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Foxconn/Sharp to Take On Samsung
Hon Hai's Foxconn is one of the leading assemblers of Apple's mobile devices, including the iPhone and the iPad. On the other hand, Sharp is a struggling supply chain partner for Apple and is rumored to have fallen significantly short of Apple's expectations, manufacturing only 2.7 million Retina display panels for the new iPad.
Under the terms of the deal, Foxconn will gain a 46.5% ownership in Sharp's LCD plant in Sakai, Japan, and will jointly run the operations with Sharp, laying claim on a proportionate part of the revenue as well. Through this deal, Foxconn will hope to gain greater access to the supply of rumored Apple TV's display parts, which it doesn't manufacture currently.