Foxconn’s interest in Sharp could spell trouble for one of Japan’s oldest companies

By on August 17, 2012 at 8:12 PM.

Foxconn’s interest in Sharp could spell trouble for one of Japan’s oldest companies

Sharp Foxconn Investment

Foxconn (2317) is reportedly interested in doubling its planned stake in Sharp (SHCAY) from 9.9% to nearly 20%, according to a report from Japan’s economic journal The Nikkei. In March, Foxconn agreed to invest more than $800 million in the troubled Japanese company, a move that would see it become Sharp’s largest outside shareholder. The deal was to be finalized by March 2013, with Foxconn agreeing to pay 550 yen per share. The Taiwanese manufacturing giant is now asking Sharp to decrease the previously agreed upon price to 200 yen per share however, because its stock price has declined in recent months. While the Japanese company continues to struggle financially, allowing Foxconn to increase its stake in the company may not be its best bet. If Foxconn is able to increase its stake beyond 10%, it will reportedly have the ability to ask a court to dissolve Sharp, which would allow Foxconn to increase its voice in controlling the fate of one of Japan’s oldest companies. More →

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Sharp president outs iPhone 5 details to distract from awful earnings

By on August 2, 2012 at 8:50 AM.

Sharp president outs iPhone 5 details to distract from awful earnings

iPhone 5 Specs Display

Sharp (6753) reported a rough second quarter on Thursday, and the best way to lighten the blow from a massive $1.2 billion operating loss is to highlight new deals with the world’s most valuable company. Newly appointed Sharp president Takashi Okuda confirmed on Thursday that his company will be supplying display panels for Apple’s sixth iPhone, and he told reporters that the displays will begin shipping this month, Reuters said. The timing is in line with an earlier exclusive BGR report, which contradicted rumors out of the Far East and stated that Apple’s next-generation iPhone had not yet entered mass production. LG Display and Japan Display are also rumored to be supplying panels for the next iPhone, which will reportedly feature a larger 4-inch screen. Apple will unveil its new iPhone during a press conference on September 12th, where it will reportedly also take the wraps off the much rumored iPad mini and a new iPod nano. More →

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Samsung and LG crush rivals in dwindling LCD TV market

By on July 23, 2012 at 8:40 PM.

Samsung and LG crush rivals in dwindling LCD TV market

Samsung LG LCD TV Sales

Samsung (005930) may be getting most of its attention for smartphones these days, but the South Korean manufacturer is doing pretty well in the LCD TV market, too. According to the latest data from iSuppli, Samsung shipped 8.2 million LCD TVs in the first quarter of 2012, good for 19% of all LCD TV shipments and up from the 18% market share it held in the first quarter last year. Fellow South Korean company LG (066570) shipped the second-most LCD TVs on the quarter as its 5.8 million LCD TVs shipped accounted for 13% of all shipments worldwide in Q1 2012. iSuppli also reports that Samsung and LG were the only two companies to turn a profit from their LCD TV businesses with rivals Sony (SNE), Toshiba (6502) and Sharp (7653) all taking losses on their LCD TV divisions. Overall LCD shipments were down year-over-year, dropping from 44.6 million in Q1 2011 to 44.4 million in Q1 2012. More →

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Foxconn looks for a board seat at Sharp as Apple HDTV nears

By on July 20, 2012 at 7:10 PM.

Foxconn looks for a board seat at Sharp as Apple HDTV nears

Foxconn Sharp Board Seat

Manufacturing heavyweight Foxconn (2354) is reportedly interested in acquiring board seats at Sharp Electronics (6753), DigiTimes reported on Friday. The company received three non-executive board seats at Sharp Display earlier this month after it acquired a 46.48% stake in the company, equivalent to 1.32 million shares. In response to reports that it was seeking a board seat at Sharp Display’s parent company, Foxconn reportedly said that “the company’s focus in cooperating with Sharp is to help complement each’s weakness to allow each side to achieve maximum benefits.” The company did say “a board seat is not really the main focus of Foxconn,” however, adding that it’s “hoping to have more substantial influence to help Sharp improve its management and sales and raise the panel maker’s profitability.” Sharp Display currently supplies display panels used in Apple’s latest iPad, and it is rumored to be building TV panels for Apple’s rumored HDTV, which is expected to launch early next year. More →

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Sharp and Sony to terminate joint LCD venture

By on May 25, 2012 at 12:00 AM.

Sharp and Sony to terminate joint LCD venture

Sharp Sony Terminate LCD Venture

Sharp and Sony on Wednesday released a joint statement to announce the end of the companies’ joint venture to produce and sell LCD panels. Due to the “rapidly changing market for LCD panels and LCD televisions,” Sony will sell its shares of the venture, which represent 7.04% of the company. The manufacturer will also receive a cash payment equal to its original investment of 10 billion yen that will be paid by Sharp. Both the sale of shares and Sony’s cash payment will be completed by the end of June 2012. The joint press release can be found after the break. More →

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Sharp and Foxconn enter into manufacturing partnership

By on March 27, 2012 at 5:15 PM.

Sharp and Foxconn enter into manufacturing partnership

Sharp on Tuesday announced that is has entered into an manufacturing partnership with Foxconn that will see the manufacturing giant take a 10% stake in the Japanese electronics company. Hon Hai has invested nearly 67 billion yen ($809 million) in Sharp in exchange for roughly 121.65 million new shares, which will be spread out between four Foxconn companies. Sharp CEO Takashi Okuda said, “Until now we have handled all of our R&D and manufacturing, but going forward we will need to include partnerships in our approach,” pledging to leverage both companies’ strengths to get products to market efficiently. Each company will hold a 46.5% stake in Sharp’s Sakai plant in western Japan, with the remaining 7% owned by Sony. More →

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Sharp and LG to increase iPad panel shipments in Q2

By on March 23, 2012 at 8:00 PM.

Sharp and LG to increase iPad panel shipments in Q2

After reportedly failing to meet Apple’s quality requirements, Sharp and LG Display have now apparently begun shipping a small volume of displays for the new iPad, DigiTimes reported on Friday. “The supply of panels for the new iPad has improved recently, with LG Display and Sharp to ramp up their shipments in the second quarter, which will also result in a significant increase in shipments of the new iPads in the quarter and onwards,” Digitimes’s unnamed industry source said. An earlier report suggested that Samsung was the sole supplier of displays for Apple’s new iPad tablet, but that report was quickly countered. More →

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Samsung to supply iPad displays after LG, Sharp quality fails to meet Apple’s requirements

By on March 13, 2012 at 12:20 PM.

Samsung to supply iPad displays after LG, Sharp quality fails to meet Apple’s requirements

Despite numerous ongoing legal battles between the two rivals, Samsung Electronics is reportedly the sole supplier of displays for Apple’s new iPad tablet, which is set to launch this coming Friday. While speaking with Bloomberg, IHS iSuppli analyst Vinita Jakhanwal said that high-resolution display panels supplied by LG Display and Sharp did not meet Apple’s quality requirements. As a result, Apple’s 2,048 x 1,536-pixel Retina Display panels will be supplied exclusively by Samsung at launch. “The display specifications on the new iPad are very demanding in terms of the very high resolution,” Jakhanwal told Bloomberg. “Achieving this high resolution without compromising on the power consumption and brightness and maintaining Apple’s quality standards are supposedly proving to be a challenge for LG Display and Sharp.” More →

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Good luck finding an iPad 3 at launch; supply shortages may persist into Q2

By on March 1, 2012 at 10:20 AM.

Good luck finding an iPad 3 at launch; supply shortages may persist into Q2

Apple’s highly anticipated iPad 3 will reportedly be in short supply until some time in the second quarter according to a new report. Industry watcher DigiTimes on Thursday cited anonymous sources within Apple’s supply chain in claiming that the high-resolution 2,048 x 1,536-pixel display panels being supplied to Apple by Sharp may be in short supply. Initial shipments are expected to be limited as a result, and production supposedly won’t be ramped up until some time in the second quarter. Apple will unveil its next-generation iPad 3 at a press conference on March 7th and the tablet is expected to become available soon after. Reports suggest the iPad 3 will feature a high-resolution 9.7-inch display, a quad-core Apple A6 processor, embedded 4G LTE and a slightly redesigned aluminum case. More →

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Apple’s iTV launch reportedly hampered by display availability

By on February 3, 2012 at 9:05 AM.

Apple’s iTV launch reportedly hampered by display availability

Apple has been widely rumored to be readying a Siri-enabled television for release this year, but a new report claims component availability issues will prevent the highly anticipated “iTV” from launching in the first half. Citing unnamed sources within Apple’s supply chain, DigiTimes on Friday reports that Sharp, rumored to have been contracted to supply display panels for Apple’s debut HDTV, is not yet ready to ship the indium gallium zinc oxide (IGZO) panels Apple will use in its iTV. According to the site’s sources, upcoming HDTV models from Samsung and LG will occupy much of the OLED panel capacity during the first half, so Apple has chosen to instead utilize IGZO panels. Sharp is reportedly not yet ready to mass produce its latest IGZO panels, however, and Apple’s iTV launch may have been pushed to the second half as a result. Apple’s iOS-powered iTV will reportedly support apps and feature voice controls powered by Siri as well as access to on-demand content through iTunes. More →

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Samsung, Sharp and others to pay $553 million fine for LCD price-fixing scheme

By on December 27, 2011 at 8:05 PM.

Samsung, Sharp and others to pay $553 million fine for LCD price-fixing scheme

Samsung, Sharp, Innolux Corp, Hitachi, HannStar Display Corp, Chungwha Picture Tubes and Epson Imaging Devices Corp will pay a total of $553 million to settle accusations that the firms participated in an LCD price-fixing scheme. The price fixing resulted in inflation of display prices at the benefit of all companies involved, but at the cost of consumers. “This price-fixing scheme manipulated the playing field for businesses that abide by the rules, and left consumers to pay artificially higher costs for televisions, computers and other electronics,” New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman said. The United States, European Union, South Korea and Japan began investigating the seven companies in December 2006, Reuters said, and executives and other firms have already paid as much as $890 million in fines. Settlement papers filed with the U.S. District Court in San Francisco ask Samsung to pay $240 million, the largest fine levied against any of the firms involved. Nokia also filed a lawsuit against several, but not all, of the aforementioned firms in 2009 alleging that the companies were purposely driving up display prices for screens used in Nokia smartphones. More →

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Sharp may supply 32-inch and 37-inch panels for Apple HDTV; Q2 or Q3 launch possible

By on December 27, 2011 at 8:01 AM.

Sharp may supply 32-inch and 37-inch panels for Apple HDTV; Q2 or Q3 launch possible

Sharp is reportedly working to supply Apple with 32-inch and 37-inch LCD panels for its Siri-equipped HDTV. Manufacturers could begin building the new televisions as soon as the first quarter, DigiTimes said on Tuesday, and a public launch could occur in the second or third quarter next year. Samsung reportedly began building chips for the “iTV’ devices in November, too. The Wall Street Journal said earlier this month that Apple was already beginning to pitch the voice-controlled TV to top media executives and an article in The New York Times recently said that Apple will “absolutely” launch a TV with Siri-powered voice controls that will replace the remote. Tuesday’s report is in line with an earlier report from an analyst that also said Sharp will provide the displays and that a mid-2012 launch is possible. More →

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Apple begins pitching voice-controlled TV to top media execs

By on December 19, 2011 at 9:00 AM.

Apple begins pitching voice-controlled TV to top media execs

Apple has reportedly met with top media executives to discuss the company’s vision of the television market’s future, suggesting that the company is moving full steam ahead on its rumored Siri-powered HDTV. The television is expected to include similar technology to the company’s current Apple TV set top box, which allows users to stream content such as movies, music and photos over a wireless network. Apple senior vice president Eddy Cue has reportedly been in the aforementioned meetings and has pitched the idea of  a television that could be controlled by voice or motion, seemingly similar to Microsoft’s Kinect technology, and Cue has discussed “new ways Apple’s technology could recognize users across phones, tablets and TVs,” The Wall Street Journal said Monday. Steve Jobs was said to have been working on a prototype for several years before his passing in 2011. It remains unclear when such a product might hit the market, although early rumors have suggested it will use a display provided by Sharp and will launch in mid-2012. More →

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