Japan Display Inc., the struggling supplier of screens to Apple Inc., says it is in talks with customers on possible joint investments in next-generation organic light-emitting diode displays.
JDI is developing a technology that will deliver OLED screens that are sharper, less power hungry and are easier to produce, the company’s Chief Executive Officer Minoru Kikuoka said in an interview. While JDI is a few technical milestones short of deciding whether to push ahead, it has already started talks with some customers on investing in the new technology, Kikuoka said, declining to name specific companies.
The launch of Apple’s first OLED iPhone in 2017 was seen as the beginning of the end for the long reign of liquid crystal displays — a dire threat for JDI because that is its core business. The company relies on Apple for about 60 percent of its revenue was falling behind in technology and lacked the funds needed to ramp up production. But forecasts of LCD’s demise missed the mark, giving JDI the breathing room to develop a smaller OLED for use in the Apple Watch. It is now considering entry into the smartphone market, a move which will pit it against Samsung Electronics Co. and Chinese manufacturers.