Flailing electronics and display manufacturer Sharp, was first acquired by Foxconn back in March for a sum of $3.5 billion. Now with the buyout complete, it has been reported on October 17, that the Taiwanse company Foxconn, and its newly acquired Japanese subsidiary Sharp, will be investing 200 billion Japanese Yen ($1.92 billion), to build a manufacturing plant which will produce OLED displays for mobile devices. The plant which is set to be established in China, will begin mass production in 2019, and will produce small and mid-size OLED panels. The companies are putting this plan into motion in a bid to catch up with Samsung and LG in the OLED market.
However, South Korean firms such as Samsung and LG, who are both leading manufacturers in the OLED market, are not really fazed by the move of Foxconn and Sharp. Before this move, Sharp decided during a board meeting last month, to invest 57.4 billion Japanese Yen ($551.13 million), to build a prototype OLED production line at its manufacturing plant in Sakai, Mie Prefecture in its home country of Japan. Samsung Display issued a statement saying that there has been rumors in the past that Chinese firms will invest in OLED production and it is nothing new. The subsidiary of Samsung currently has a 95 percent share in the small and mid-size OLED market. LG Display issued a similar statement, saying that it is still too early for Foxconn and Sharp to become competitors in the small and mid-size OLED market.
A spokesperson from LG Display said that the company has managed to secure mass production technology in the small and mid-size OLED sector through the G Flex and are currently expanding the production scale. Foxconn on the other hand is just about to start the development of mass production technology to produce OLED displays and it is expected that the company will develop the technology by 2019, and will probably begin mass production after 2020. Most industry watchers have the same point of view and believes it will take considerable amount of time before Foxconn and Sharp will become players in the OLED market. Samsung and LG took more than 10 years to develop and research OLED mass production technologies, before entering the market.