Foxconn will reportedly spend as much as $2.6 billion over the next two years to build a new factory dedicated to manufacturing displays for Apple, Bloomberg said Thursday. It’s a big shift for Foxconn, which typically doesn’t actually provide components for Apple products and is instead relied on to assemble them before they ship out to customers. Apple’s display partners in the past have included Sharp and LG, the latter of which reportedly provides the panels for the iPhone 6.
Bloomberg said Foxconn confirmed its intentions to build a new plant but that the firm did not specifically name Apple as the partner. The goal, it seems, is to better streamline the process between component procurement and assembly, and Bloomberg said Foxconn hopes to boost its revenues by providing Apple with both pieces of the manufacturing puzzle. The project is said to move swiftly, too, with production starting by the end of next year and “equipment installation” beginning as early as this December.
If final production does indeed ramp up at the end of next year, it seems plausible that Apple may still tap another display partner for new panels that it uses in products before now and the end of 2015. The next iPhones and iPads, for example, may launch in the fall of next year which may be too soon for Foxconn displays. Also of interest, at least to us, is what sort of quality we can expect from Foxconn’s own panels. As research firm DisplayMate recently found, Samsung still produces some of the best and most accurate displays on the market.