Hon Hai factory

If we believe Japan's Nikkei, the decision by Hon Hai Precision Industry (that is, Foxconn's daddy) to buy a stake in Sharp was really just the start of a long, torrid love affair in LCD production. While Hon Hai is getting the rosy side of the deal for Sharp's TV-oriented Sakai plant, it's now thought to be paying Sharp for display technology that would go into a new factory in Chengdu for small- and medium-sized LCDs used for smartphones and tablets. If all dovetails as nicely as the two would like, the joint venture would see advanced mobile displays manufactured on the cheap -- the best of both worlds. Suffice it to say that there's a few companies that might be interested, as clients like Apple are no strangers to Chengdu. Before you let visions of IGZO-based LCDs on every iPad and iPhone dance through your head, though, remember that neither Hon Hai nor Sharp has confirmed anything -- and that the plant wouldn't be up and running until 2013 at the earliest, even if everything's in sync.