Wed, Dec 16, 2015 - Page 13 News List

Apple eyeing display expertise: analyst

REGAINING GLORY:Pegatron chairman Tung Tsu-hsien said Taiwan has the chance to play an active and important role in the worldwide supply chain for smart devices

By Lisa Wang  /  Staff reporter

Pegatron Corp chairman Tung Tsu-hsien talks to reporters yesterday regarding speculation that Apple has a laboratory in Taoyuan developing and producing screens for its iPhones and iPads.

Photo: CNA

Apple Inc is expected to leverage Taiwan’s display talents and technologies by establishing a display production laboratory in Taiwan, which could pave the way for Taiwanese LCD panel makers to secure new orders from the US electronics giant, an IHS Technology analyst said yesterday.

“It makes a lot of sense for Apple to open a display production lab in Taiwan, since the company has built similar labs in South Korea and Japan, where its main display suppliers are based,” IHS Technology director David Hsieh (謝勤益) said by telephone.

“We believe Taiwan’s display talents and strong technological capabilities are the reason why Apple chose to open a lab here to develop next-generation display technologies,” Hsieh said. “One of the possibilities is that Apple could work with local panel companies to develop organic LED [OLED] panels for new-generation iPhones.”

Taiwanese manufacturers are developing OLED panels and their technologies only lag behind their South Korean competitors, he said.

At the moment, Taiwanese firms play a secondary role supplying panels to Apple, he added.

China would not be a viable option for an Apple research lab, as Chinese flat-panel manufacturers lack the technologies to produce advanced panels in the near term, he said.

To secure display supply and technologies, Apple has invested in display manufacturing plants operated by its panel suppliers, Hsieh said.

Pegatron Corp (和碩) chairman Tung Tsu-hsien (童子賢) yesterday said that over the past three decades, Taiwan has played a central role in the global PC supply chain.

In the PC era, some US PC heavyweights closed their research and design centers in Silicon Valley and relocated those centers to Taiwan, he said.

Now Taiwan might have a chance to regain its glory if “the speculation [about Apple] is confirmed. That would be proof that Taiwan can once again play an active and important role in the world’s smart device supply chain,” Tung said.

Pegatron is competing with Hon Hai Precision Industry Co Ltd (鴻海精密) for more orders to assemble iPhones for Apple.

“That also proves that Taiwan is deeply engaged in the world’s electronics research and development, rather than being just a manufacturer, or a pure material supplier,” Tung said.

Tung, who is also chairman of the Taipei Computer Association (台北市電腦公會), spoke to reporters on the sidelines an association meeting.

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