We’ve already seen a bunch of phones this year that should be launched in the upcoming weeks and months, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t surprises left for the remainder of the year. In fact, at least two component manufacturers have interesting new products that may significantly improve upcoming handsets. More →
While handset makers keep slimming down the bezels of their devices, Sharp has designed a smartphone that comes closer than any we’ve ever seen to eliminating bezels all together. The best part is Sharp’s Aquos Crystal phone will be available to American buyers, Engadget reports, as Sprint is getting ready to launch it in the U.S. In fact, Sprint’s Tuesday New York City media event for the Aquos Crystal is aptly called “Take the edge off.” More →
The future of consumer tech is not a rectangle, and Sharp just unveiled a major step toward realising that future. The company has unveiled new display technology it refers to as “Free-Form Display.” Using Sharp’s new tech, companies will be able to design and manufacture LCD displays in shapes that might have otherwise been impossible to mass produce. More →
Samsung has already announced a couple of 12.2-inch Android tablets at CES 2014 and Apple is rumored to be working on a 12.9-inch Pro iPad of its own, but Sharp trumps both companies when it comes to tablet size with its new 15.6-inch RW-16GB Windows 8.1 tablet. The device packs a 3,200 x 1,800-pixel IGZO display (235 pixel-per-inch density), a fourth-generation Intel Core-i5 processor, 4GB of RAM, 128GB SSD, 2-megapixel camera, 4K output support, Wi-Fi 802.11ac support and NFC. The tablet, which apparently targets professionals rather than regular tablet users, will also come with stylus-support and, most interestingly, it’ll be able to offer up to nine hours of battery life despite its large high-resolution display. More →
Sharp on Monday at CES 2014 unveiled a new 85-inch 8K TV that also offers glasses-free 3D video playback. The company says that the 8K TV has been created together with Philips and Dolby and will offer users a “lifelike 3D picture” without requiring glasses. The television set will offer a resolution of 7680 x 4320 or sixteen times the resolution of today’s HDV TVs. While the company continues to experiment with such ultra high resolution TVs, this 85-inch 8K TV does not have pricing or a launch date just yet. More →
Sharp needs help. The consumer electronics company on Tuesday posted a worse-than-expected $5.4 billion loss for the previous fiscal year, and it released its plan to turn things around over the coming three years. For one thing, the company intends to tap banks for $1.5 billion in funds. Sharp also said it will look to boost smartphone display sales to Samsung as business with its top client Apple begins to slow. More →
Sharp will reportedly be laying off 5,000 employees as part of a three-year recovery plan to turn the company around. According to The Asahi Shimbun, the number of directors and advisory positions will be cut in half, and the number of employees at Sharp’s main office in Osaka, Japan will be reduced by 50%. Additional layoffs are also expected in China and Malaysia. In an effort to increase profits, the company will be revising its focus to producing smartphone displays, large-sized HDTV sets and 4K TVs. Sharp will reportedly announce its three-year recovery plan next Tuesday.
News of Samsung’s (005930) strategic investment in Sharp emerged last week, and it looks like there maybe be some added benefits for Samsung beyond strengthening its relationship with the struggling panel maker. According to market analysis firm Trefis, Samsung’s $110 million investment in Sharp is also a dirt cheap way for the South Korean company to apply pressure to Apple (AAPL), which it says is threatened by Samsung’s move. More →
Samsung (005930) is reportedly set to buy a 3% stake in struggling panel maker Sharp Corporation for approximately $110 million. The deal will ensure Samsung sees “a smooth supply of large-sized TV panels and help bolster the Japanese company’s chances of survival,” Reuters reported on Wednesday. “Rather than the amount of investment, it is the partnership with Samsung that Sharp gains that is important,” noted Tetsuro Ii, CEO of investment firm Commons AM. “Sharp gains an opportunity to use the Samsung platform.” Sharp also builds display panels used in Apple’s (AAPL) iPad, and it is reportedly developing larger displays to be used in Apple’s much rumored HDTV that is currently in development.
Apple (AAPL) is learning that good help can be hard to find. In its eagerness to shed its reliance on Samsung (005930) as a component supplier, Apple has had difficulty in finding another vendor capable of producing displays as efficiently as its partner-turned-rival traditionally has. This past summer, the company began moving away from Sharp (SCHAY) a bit when it tapped LG Display (LPL) and AU Optronics to produce panels for its iPad mini. But now that Apple has experienced supply chain problems with the iPad mini, it could decide to give Sharp a fresh look for future devices. More →
Sharp (SHCAY) announced on Monday it has begun production for the next generation of smartphone LCD panels. Measuring at 5-inch in diagonal width with a 443 pixel per inch (PPI) density, Sharp’s new LCDs will sport a whopping full-HD resolution of 1920 x 1080. Sharp says the new display uses “CG-Silicon technology” to fit “the same number of pixels in a smartphone-size screen as there are in a full-HD LCD TV.” Google (GOOG) is rumored to be partnering up with HTC (2498) to build the 5-inch Nexus smartphone with a 1080p resolution display. Aside from the Oppo Find 5 that uses a 5-inch 1080p LCD, most smartphones and “phablets” usually top out at 720p (1280 x 720 resolution). Sharp’s new LCDs will usher in a new age of visual clarity on smartphones. More →
When the iPhone 5’s opening-weekend sales only reached 5 million units instead of the sky-high estimates some Wall Street analysts’ offered ahead of launch, investors panicked and Apple’s (AAPL) stock took a hit. Some might say the record-setting sales figure is still “epic,” but Apple bulls whose projections overshot actual sales were quick to blame the disparity on supply shortages. Sharp’s display panel production in particular was said to be falling short, but an unnamed company executive on Friday confirmed that it is now producing “adequate volumes” of display panels Reuters says are destined for Apple’s new iPhone. The iPhone 5 launched on several regional U.S. carriers and in 22 new countries earlier on Friday.