Apple could be planning a $1 billion investment in Sharp LCDs to keep up its supply of screens for the iPhone and iPad. 

Sources told Reuters that the company will likely make the move alongside a new LCD factory owned by Toshiba Corp. 

Apple's relationship with Samsung continues to deteriorate, with rumours pointing to the company doctoring pictures of the new Galaxy Tab in a current court case. This could result in the Cupertino based company seeking out parts elsewhere, with Japan being a likely alternative. 

Sharp has a deal with Apple to provide power efficient screens for the sixth generation iPhone according to Reuter's sources. 

The Japanese company said earlier this year it planned on switching production from larger displays to predominantly smaller screens for smartphones and tablets. 

Samsung currently offer less expensive panels, as such the move to Sharp could in theory signal a price hike for Apple portables. 

Either way Sharp is going to be seriously excited about the deal, an Apple investment will add plentiful value to the company.