While many simply expect gadgets to be manufactured in large numbers to stock shelves and meet demand, the reality is that companies sometimes face a tough time sourcing and producing all the relevant parts. Nintendo may be considering a long term change for Nintendo Switch, for example, as the supplier of the console's screen panel is currently facing difficult times.
That supplier is Japan Display Inc., a company formed with involvement of the Japanese government in 2012, essentially to prop up specific business areas from Sony, Hitachi and Toshiba. The company has filed net losses for three years in a row, and lost ¥31.5 billion ($286.4 million) in the first quarter of this year. The following is from a Wall Street Journal report (paywall).
Executives at the smartphone-screen maker Wednesday apologized for what they described as poor management and laid out an across-the-board restructuring plan, including the slashing of 3,700 jobs world-wide—nearly 30% of its total workforce. The company also intends to shut domestic factories and shrink its overseas operations.
Previously a company established to be funded and run solely out of Japan, it's looking for investment during this financial year and will consider options from China or Taiwan, but there are doubts over whether any deals are likely. The company's big problem, in addition to its lack of profitability, is that its biggest client - Apple - looks likely to move to alternative screen technology (OLED) that it can't provide; right now Apple accounts for over 50% of Japan Display Inc.'s revenue.
As for the Switch part of the business, WSJ writer Takashi Mochizuki has stated that it's not a major earner for Japan Display.
At the present moment there don't appear to be imminent changes on the way that could affect the supply of Nintendo Switch screens, but Nintendo will likely be closely following progress of Japan Display's efforts to source fresh investment and sources of revenue.
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