When it comes to the supply of display panels to Apple for iOS products, Apple relies on several manufacturers, such as LG, Samsung, Sharp, and Japan Display. As it stands Apple is still in dispute with Samsung over alleged patent infringement meaning that they would want to reduce their reliance on Samsung as much as possible.
Unfortunately it also seems that Sharp is hoping to move away from relying too much on Apple as well, according to a recent report from Nikkei where they suggested that Sharp is in talks with Apple about buying smartphone panel production equipment from their Kameyama plant. The plant at the moment is reportedly primarily working on Apple displays.
However in a bid to stop being so dependent on business from Apple, as well as to protect themselves in the event that the iPhone stops selling so well, Sharp is hoping that their purchase will let them diversify their business to other companies. It would also allow them to start supplying to other smartphone makers in China.
If and when that happens, it seems that Apple is also making demands of their own, one of which is that they do not want Sharp to start supplying panels to Samsung, although we’re not sure how they are able to enforce that.