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Sharp says China smartphone screen shipments may exceed target

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[November 06, 2014]  TOKYO (Reuters) - Japanese display maker Sharp Corp, a supplier to Apple Inc, said its shipments of screens to Chinese smartphone makers may exceed its target for the fiscal year to next March as it expands its business to new models.

Norikazu Hohshi, head of Sharp's device business, said on Thursday that the company would be shipping screens to 15 Chinese smartphone manufacturers this fiscal year and that it was in talks to supply screens for 25 new Chinese models, with shipments to begin as early as the January-March quarter.

The recent rise of Chinese smartphone manufacturers such as Xiaomi Technology Co Ltd [XTC.UL] helped to boost Sharp's shipments of small and mid-sized liquid crystal displays by around 50 percent in the six months to end-September, to $1 billion.

The company forecasts the business will bring in $2 billion in revenue for the full year to next March.

Worries have mounted about softening prices of LCD screens for Chinese smartphones. Japan Display Inc, the world's largest maker of LCD screens for smartphones, last month warned that it expected a 10 billion yen ($87 million) net loss for the year to March, reversing a previous forecast for a net profit.

Hohshi acknowledged that there had been a sudden drop in LCD screen prices for Chinese smartphones over the past six months but said this had not affected the high-resolution screens that Sharp is supplying.

(Reporting by Reiji Murai; Writing by Teppei Kasai; Editing by Edmund Klamann)

[ 2014 Thomson Reuters. All rights reserved.]

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