Troubled Japanese telly maker Sharp has announced that it is chatting to several companies about selling off its LCD business.
Apparently the banks are under pressure for Sharp to find a partner for the loss-making division.
Sharp was given a $1.7 billion rescue in May but Sharp is struggling to make the investments it needs to keep its screen business competitive.
Its main lenders want the company to find a buyer for all or part of its ailing LCD business.
Chief Executive Kozo Takahashi told the press that he could not name names, but was in negotiations with multiple companies. He could not say when any deal would be finalised.
Takahashi stressed that a direct investment into Sharp itself was not being discussed.
Hon Hai Precision Industry has been suggested as a potential buyer and a state-backed fund is also considering a direct investment in Sharp or merging the company’s LCD unit with rival Japan Display.
Sharp’s July-September operating profit fell 86 percent to $29 million from a year earlier, dragged down by falling prices of smartphone displays and slow progress in reducing inventory.
Smartphone sales are falling, even for the fruity cargo cult Apple and it is starting to look like if the next iPhone 6s goes tits up many companies will go under.
Japan Display Chief Executive Mitsuru Homma said Apple is increasing orders ahead of the expected launch of the new iPhone this month. This is the only good news for the company which has been suffering a lot lately.
Homma said that despite weakness in the Chinese market, Apple was confident that it would sell mire iPhones than ever.
“They’re coming to us with more orders, saying ‘give us more, give us more’. They keep increasing,” he told Reuters in an interview.
Apple Chief Executive Tim Cook last week reassured shareholders about the strength of the Chinese market for iPhones after a slump in China’s stock market and the devaluation of the yuan rattled investors. However all his figures were before the crash and do not take into account that Chinese buyers might be a lot more careful now about what they spend their money on.
But Cook’s optimism may not be that useful for the likes of Japan Display. The company was formed in a government-backed deal in 2012 from the ailing display units of Sony, Toshiba and Hitachi. Its recovery has been based purely because of strong Apple orders. If the iPhone 6s tanks, Jobs Mob will have to retrench it could take Japan Display with it.
Apple and Foxconn will survive if the iPhone 6s does not sell well in China, but other companies, which are dependent on Jobs’ Mob will not be so lucky.
Many will be alarmed at rumours that the new iPhone 6s is not going to be a game changer and might actually be worse than the iPhone 6. Tech news site cnBeta says the battery capacity of the standard-sized new iPhone will be reduced from 1810 milliampere hours to 1715 mAh, and the large-screened model will drop from 2910 to 2750 mAh. That amounts to a power drop of 5.3 per cent for the iPhone 6S and of 5.5 per cent for the larger iPhone 6S Plus or 7 Plus.
The phone is also touted to be heavier as Apple fixes the structural problems which made the iPhone 6 bend.