Apple’s key suppliers—iPhone assembler Foxconn and its Japanese subsidiary Sharp—say that rumored plans calling for establishing an LCD manufacturing plant in the United States are “still on the table”. Company officials made that comment in response to U.S. President-elect Donald Trump’s “Make in America” call, Japanese outlet Nikkei reported Friday.
An unnamed Sharp executive told Nikkei that such a decision must be made “carefully”.
The facility could be roughly the same size as Foxconn’s recently announced $8.69 billion panel production plant for LCD TVs in Guangzhou, China, set to open in the fall of 2018. Foxconn may spend approximately the same amount of money on the rumored U.S. plant, people familiar with the plan said.
The Taiwanese company might receive a little help in building a plant in the U.S. from Japanese giant SoftBank, which has pledged to invest $50 billion in U.S. aimed at creating 50,000 jobs. SoftBank is Foxconn’s partner and Apple itself recently announced a $1 billion investment in SoftBank’s Vision Fund.
“We believe their new fund will speed the development of technologies which may be strategically important to Apple,” a spokesperson for the Cupertino company said at the time.
As you know, U.S. President-elect Donald Trump promised tax incentives to companies like Apple to build “Made in USA” iPhones. Nikkei reported in November that Apple had already asked Foxconn and Pegatron in June 2016 to look into assembling iPhones domestically.
However, another report cautioned that most supply chain makers in China won’t follow Foxconn even if Apple decides to shift gadget production to U.S.