The Bell: Apple aims to sell 45 million 6.5" OLED iPhones and 25 million 5.84" OLED iPhones in 2018

More and more reports suggest that Apple's 2018 iPhone lineup (to be introduced in September 2018) will include two OLED models and one LCD models. A few days ago it the Nikkei Asian Review said that Apple's 2018 OLED iPhone launch orders will be 20% lower compared to 2017, amounting to 80 million panels.

Apple iPhone X photo

Now the Korean site The Bell says that Apple ordered 45 million 6.5" OLED panels from SDC for the iPhone Xs Plus and only 25 million for the smaller 5.84" iPhone Xs - to a total of 70 million panels. For the lower-end LCD model, Apple ordered only 30 million panels from Japan Display.

Japan Display to raise $500 million while still searching for OLED partners

In August 2017, Japan Display announced a strategic focus on OLED displays as the losing display maker failed to keep up with the industry shift to OLEDs. JDI announced it will need to raise $1.7 billion as it aims to start OLED mass production in 2019, and the company started to look for partners for this project.

JDI is now set to raise around $520 million, offering new shares and selling some of its assets. JDI will offer new shares to 30 foreign funds, to Japan's LED make Nichia Corp and also JDI's largest stakeholder, the government-backed INCJ. This money will be be used to advance the company's LCD production, and the company hopes these funds will enable it to find the OLED partners and raise the $1.7 billion required for OLED production.

Japan Display finds it more challenging than expected to find partners for its OLED project

In August 2017, Japan Display announced a strategic focus on OLED displays as the losing display maker failed to keep up with the industry shift to OLEDs. JDI announced it will raise funds to accelerate its OLED plans and prepare for mass production in 2019.

In October 2017 Japan Display estimated that it will require more than 200 billion Yen (around $1.77 billion USD) to start mass producing OLEDs in 2019, and the company started reaching out to display makers in China and Korea as finding a partner in Japan is difficult. JDI hoped to finalize its financing by March 2018, but according to a new report from Japan the investors in China, while initially eager to participate, are now hesitating.

Sharp still hopes to form a Japanese OLED alliance with Japan Display

In August 2016 Sharp said that it wants to collaborate with Japan Display to co-develop and produce OLED displays. JDI responded saying that Sharp did not actually reach out regarding such a collaboration, but it seems that Sharp did not give up on that idea.

Sharp 3.4'' flexible IGZO OLED prototype (Apr 2016)

Sharp's stock returned to the Tokyo Stock Exchange first section after a year of absence, and the company's president told Reuters that it is going to ask Japan's government it help it form an alliance with JDI. Sharp is also considering an investment in JOLED.

JOLED seeks $900 million in funding to start mass printing OLED displays

As we just posted, Japan Display has decided to halt its plans to turn its minority stake at JOLED into a majority one, and so JOLED is now seeking external financing to support its plan to start mass producing OLEDs in 2019 at the JDI plant in Nomi, Ishikawa (which currently makes LCDs, but will be shut down towards the end of 2017).

JOLED 4K prototype OLED Monitor (July 2017, Japan)

According to the Nikkei Asian Review, JOLED aims to raise 100 billion Yen (almost $900 million) from Japanese companies, and it has already approached Sony, Canon, Fujifilm, Nikon and Sumitomo. If this plans fails JOLED may turn to foreign companies, including Chinese ones.

JDI turns to Korean and Chinese OLED makers to fund its OLED project

In August 2017, Japan Display announced a strategic focus on OLED displays as the losing display maker failed to keep up with the industry shift to OLEDs. JDI said it will need to raise new funds in order to accelerate its OLED plans and prepare for mass production in 2019.

JDI estimates that it will require more than 200 billion Yen (around $1.77 billion USD) to start mass producing OLEDs in 2019. JDI is now looking for financing partners that will help fund the company's OLED project. It is estimated that it will find it difficult to find a partner in Japan and so JDI is looking for Chinese and Korean display makers. According to the Nikkei Asian Times BOE and CSoT already expressed interest.

Will FoxConn also acquire Japan Display to create a Japanese OLED alliance?

Last week Japan Display announced a new strategic shift to OLED technologies, as its LCD business is losing money and the company now says that a transformation into an OLED-focused company is its last chance to become profitable.

JDI said it will need to raise new funds to finance this focus shift and overcome its losses. An interesting report from Japan claims that Foxconn is interested in acquiring JDI with an aim to integrate it with Sharp to create a Japanese OLED alliance that will be able to compete with Samsung and LGD.

JDI announces last-chance restructuring as it moves to focus on OLED displays

Japan Display says that it must must overhaul its manufacturing system and restructure the company as losses increase. JDI says that it has failed to keep up with the industry shift to new technologies (OLEDs), but it now plans to strategically focus on OLED displays.

JDI announced a loss of $287 million in the last quarter, three times higher than the loss last year. JDI plans to shed 3,700 jobs (about 30% of its workforce) and it says that this is the last chance to restructure.

Japan Display extend and enhance its evaluation agreement with UDC

Japan Display has extended and updated its evaluation agreement with Universal Display. UDC is supplying its phosphorescent OLED materials and technology to JDI for use in its OLED displays. The financial terms of the agreement have not been disclosed.

JDI was formed in November 2011 by Sony, Hitachi, and Toshiba who combined their small/medium panel production capabilities and received $2 billion from Japan's Innovation Network Corp (INCJ). JDI has an active OLED R&D program and plans to begin producing OLED panels in 2018.

JDI's flexible LCD prototype shown on video with a rigid BLU

Last week we reported that Japan Display is developing flexible LCD displays. The company demonstrated a 5.5" FHD LCD that it brands as FULL ACTIVE FLEX, aiming to mass produced such displays that compete with flexible OLEDs in 2018.

JDI posted a presentation detailing the company's strategy, in which they showed the video you see above. This shows how flexible the display is - but it also shows that the LED backlighting unit is not flexible which seems to be a major flaw - I'm guessing JDI will want to change that, otherwise there's not much point in a flexible LCD...

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