Foxconn Chairman Terry Gou outlined a strategy shift of Foxconn Technology Group to manufacture professional-quality and affordable film cameras along with displays and related semiconductors.
The iPhone assembler plans to team up with premium camera maker RED Digital Cinema to make professional 8K cameras and also expand its display manufacturing facilities it already operates and Sharp's semiconductor business.
"We will make cameras that will shoot professional-quality films in 8K resolution but at only a third of current prices and a third of current camera sizes," Foxconn Chairman Terry Gou said in his opening remark at the company’s annual carnival for employees at the Nangang Exhibition Hall, as it is reported by the Nikkei.
"Not only displays, Sharp controls important chip technologies for various image sensors that go into digital cameras and televisions. We will definitely make good use of them and make more of them," said Gou. "And we will make these [semiconductors] much more cheaply. That's our important goal and project for this year." Sharp board member Young Liu , who doubles as Hon Hai’s semiconductor subgroup head, is pushing toward a technological breakthrough for optical sensors in 8K cameras, which would make them smaller.
The Taiwanese company is building facilities to make large-scale display panels in the U.S. and China. It is seeking new revenue sources to compensate for weakening smartphone demand, and also reduce its business dependence on Apple, which accounts for more than 50% of its sales.
RED Digital Cinema currently peoduces cameras used in the filming industry. A RED's 8K camera now sells for around $30,000.
In the display business, Foxconn is cooperating with Tawianese Innolux, Sharp and Japanese Sakai Display Products. Gou also signed an agreement in November with Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker to build a $10 billion liquid crystal display panel factory in the Midwest state in return for $3 billion in tax breaks and other incentives. The "smart" manufacturing facility in Wisconsin will focus on 5G connectivity devices and 8K-resolution displays. Foxconn plans to host a ground-breaking ceremony there by the end of April, Gou said..
The company is also building another large-scale LCD display plant for TV screens in the southern Chinese city of Guangzhou, which is scheduled to go into production before 2020.
Foxconn is also plans to transform from a traditional manufacturer to a service provider for cloud computing, big data and artificial intelligence, over the next three years.
To finance these new investments, Foxconn will list a subsidiary, Foxconn Industrial Internet (FII), its cloud and networking unit, on the Shanghai Stock Exchange.
FII's key customers include Apple, Amazon, Cisco, Dell, HP, Huawei Technologies, and Lenovo Group.