Sharp is planning IGZO and OLED panel production expansion this year according to a new report, while it also aims to cut back on production of its a-Si and LTPS panels. Sharp is not a brand you will find much of in regards to smartphones in the U.S. but you find many of its TVs some of which do utilize the IGZO panel, and there are other smartphones which utilize this panel as well, such as the Razer Phone. Though TVs aren't specifically mentioned in regards to the expansion, it's likely that the increased capacity of IGZO panels that are produced following the expansion will be spread across multiple sectors from TVs to smartphones.
The report states that Sharp is targeting sometime in the fourth quarter of 2018 for converting some of the LTPS panel production from its 6G fab plant in Kameyama to production of IGZO panels, which suggests that there may not be a larger number of devices with IGZO panels hitting the market until early next year, though it wasn't explicitly stated that this would be the case, and new products with this panel technology could hit the market before the year ends as long as production starts early enough in the fourth quarter.
As for the numbers, Sharp is reportedly lowering the LTPS panels from 25,000 units produced to 15,000. This decrease will be in direct correlation to it's plan for increasing production of IGZO panels, as Sharp will be looking to shift 10,000 of those initial 25,000 LTPS panels to IGZO. Additionally Sharp's a-Si panel production will decrease from 30,000 units down to 20,000 units and this is expected to happen before the end of the first quarter. Throughout the remainder of 2018, Sharp will decrease a-Si panel production by another 5,000 units aiming to be at 15,000 total a-Si panels being produced by the end of 2018. Recent details of Shap's plans to increase OLED panel production for the rest of the year lines up with a report from January which also stated that the company had plans to continue investing in OLED panel technology alongside LG and JDI.