Sony to Procure LCD TV Panels from Sharp
Sony is in final stages of negotiations to procure LCD TV panels from Sharp as early as April 2008, based on a news report by Reuters. S-LCD, a joint venture between Samsung and Sony, currently supplies most of the high-end LCD TV panels that Sony needs. The lower-end and smaller panels are procured from Taiwan-based suppliers. This is good news for Sharp as the company has been developing customers for its LCD panels and Sony as a customer is as good as it gets. Sharp is currently in the process of building the world’s largest LCD fab that is expected to commence production by March 2010. The Gen. 10 factory has a price tag of $3.55 billion.
Sony has an aggressive goal for FY2008 (starting in April): 20 million LCD TVs. Of that, approximately 3-5 million 40″-equivalent of those will likely be supplied by Sharp. This is in light of another announcement in December by Toshiba that stated it would procure LCD panels from Sharp.
Sharp’s LCD technology is based on VA. The company has enhanced the original design and is called Advanced Super View or ASV. ASV technology has been incorporated into small mobile phone displays and into the largest LCD TVs. When Sharp-based Sony LCD TVs come to market, it would be very difficult to tell the difference between ASV and PVA, a Samsung display technology.