Apple plans to invest US$1 billion in a Sharp plant to secure a supply of LCD screens for iPhones and iPads, reports “Reuters” (, quoting unnamed sources at Japanese parts makers.

The proposed move, along with an investment in a new LCD factory of Toshiba comes as Apple and key supplier Samsung Electronics do battle in courts over patent disputes, spurring talk that Apple may diversify suppliers, the article adds. Japanese chipmakers in particular, such as Elpida Memory Inc and Toshiba hope to get more orders from Apple if the U.S. company’s relationship with Samsung goes south.