Hon Hai Precision Industry Co Ltd (鴻海精密) yesterday said it plans to launch new 70-inch flat-panel TVs next month in its latest efforts to boost factory utilization efficiency of the world’s only 10th-generation (10G) LCD factory, which is co-owned by Sharp Corp and company chairman Terry Gou (郭台銘).
Hon Hai currently makes 60-inch flat-panel TVs and 40-inch monitors using panels from the 10G factory in Sakai City, Osaka, Japan.
The new 70-inch LCD TVs will be launched in Taiwan in collaboration with Chunghwa Telecom Co (中華電信) and cable TV system operator Kbro Co (凱擘), Kay Chiu (邱創儀), a vice president of Hon Hai’s consumer electronics division, told reporters at the company’s headquarters in Tucheng District (土城), New Taipei City (新北市).
The equipment-loading rate at the factory is expected to be lower in the first six months, compared with that of the fourth quarter of last year, because demand usually slackens in the first two quarters of the year, Chiu said. He declined to give detailed figures.
“The loading rate matches the company’s expectation,” he said.
Utilization “will rise gradually to hit 100 percent in the third quarter after customers launch new products,” he added.
Glass substrates manufactured by the factory are suitable for cutting 60-inch, 70-inch and 80-inch flat screens, he said.
Hon Hai is also discussing with its customers in the US and China about launching 70-inch LCD TVs, Chiu said.
Hon Hai currently assembles 60-inch LCD TVs for Vizio Inc, the biggest TV brand in North America, and for China’s top three TV brands, the company said.
Hon Hai plans to launch its new ultra-high-definition 4k slim-screen TVs by the end of the year at the earliest, after key components such as TV chipsets are ready to support the delivery of ultra-high-definition content, Chiu said.
He said the company also plans to make 80-inch LCD TVs in the future.
Shares of Hon Hai, which makes iPhones and iPads for Apple Inc, fell to an eight-month low yesterday on reports that shipments of three new versions of the iPhone and iPad could be postponed to the third or even the fourth quarter of this year.
Hon Hai closed 2.62 percent lower at NT$78.6 yesterday, its lowest level since August last year, Taiwan Stock Exchange data showed.