iPhone and iPad maker Apple is likely to invest around $1bn (£609m) in a LCD-making plant operated by Sharp, according to a display industry analyst.
The predicted move, borne out by unnamed sources quoted by Reuters, would come as Apple is fighting a court battle with key supplier Samsung over patents.
"We think it is highly possible that Apple will make an investment in Sharp's Kameyama plant to the tune of around $1 billion in order to secure a stable supply of screens for iPhones and iPads," MF Global FXA Securities analyst David Rubenstein said in a sales note issued on Wednesday.
In June, Japan-based Sharp announced that it would shift production at its Kameyama plants 1 and 2 from large LCD panels to panels for smartphones and tablets.
Apple and Korea-based Samsung have been locked in a dispute over Android-related patents in the US International Trade Commission, in California district court and in Australia, Japan and South Korea. The iPhone maker has also begun a case in Germany against Samsung, but that case is based on allegations that Samsung's Galaxy Tab 10.1 copies the design of the iPad.