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Fading IPhone LCD Screen Maker Pivots to Virtual Reality

  • Superseded on mobile, LCDs can better compete with OLED in VR
  • JDI believes headset business could grow into a linchpin
HTC Corp. Vive VR headset demonstrated at the Telefonica SA innovation center in Barcelona.
HTC Corp. Vive VR headset demonstrated at the Telefonica SA innovation center in Barcelona.Photographer: Angel Garcia/Bloomberg

Japan Display Inc., once one of Apple Inc.’s key suppliers, sees a new market for its liquid crystal displays after ceding the smartphones arena to rival OLED screens: the niche yet growing virtual reality business.

The Tokyo-based LCD specialist expects its favored display technology to become the standard for VR because it can achieve higher resolution than OLED while keeping costs reasonable. That advantage is imperceptible in mobile devices but becomes critical in the more demanding VR scenario.