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Sony, Panasonic Team Up For Next-Gen OLED Panels

Sony announced on Monday that it has teamed up with another struggling electronics giant, Panasonic, to develop next-generation OLED (organic light-emitting diode) panels and modules for TVs and large-sized displays.

The news arrives as the two rivals try to recover from multi-billion-dollar losses stemming from poor sales and a shaky global economy. OLED printing technology allows manufacturers to create displays that consume less power while offering a sharper picture, but until the current collaboration, the industry has struggled to find an economical way to develop and sell larger OLED screens to the general consumer.

According to Sony, the joint venture will actually utilize the core and printing technologies of both manufacturers so that together they can develop printing "method-based next-generation OLED" technology. This will be the first time two firms have teamed up in a core business, a move that's seen as a turning point for Japan's hard-hit electronics industry.

Sony said on Monday that the integration of their unique technologies will improve the overall efficiency of development, thus allowing the duo to establish mass-production technology by 2013. The resulting tech will be suitable for low-cost mass production of large, high resolution OLED panels and modules -- meaning large OLED HDTVs may actually be within reach of the general consumer.

In addition to the joint development, Sony and Panasonic said they plan to continue to study collaboration in the mass production of OLED panels and modules. They also each plan to utilize their own individual strengths to develop and commercialize their own competitive, high-performance, next-generation OLED televisions and large-sized displays, continuing their long-standing rivalry despite the current collaboration.

Mitsushige Akino, analyst at Ichiyoshi Investment Management in Tokyo, told AFP the deal is too late in the OLED game. "They should have done such a deal five or six years ago," he said.

"The two companies need more drastic measures such as a withdrawal from the TV business altogether. This won't change their severe business circumstances."

Fitch Ratings analyst Alvin Lim added that similar "tie-ups" may be in the offing for Japan's electronics giants. Unfortunately for the likes of Sony and Panasonic, South Korean firms are "way ahead" in developing OLED technology.

"Such tie-ups between fierce competitors in the TV segment were once unthinkable, (but) they are now necessary to claw back the technological and market leadership ceded to Korean manufacturers," said Lim

  • amk-aka-Phantom
    Hopefully they'll come up with cheap 27'' 2500x1600/2500x1440/etc. panels soon.
    Reply
  • zippyzion
    Wow. Harsh analyst. I wonder who he owns stock in. Samsung maybe?

    Both Panasonic and Sony make some of the best televisions on the market. Those two teaming up in any way is good for consumers. Them teaming up to lower costs is even better.
    Reply
  • mlcloud
    amk-aka-PhantomHopefully they'll come up with cheap 27'' 2500x1600/2500x1440/etc. panels soon.
    What's wrong with Catleap q270 or any other number of cheap korean monitors?
    Reply
  • tleavit
    After the cluster F that was the purchase of my 60" Sony SXRD rear projection TV (advertised 1080p but 1080i as well as massived recall problems). Ill never touch a Sony in my life. However, my 1080p Panny Projector has run flawlessly for 5 years punching out to a 133" screen (10 foot wide)
    Reply
  • alidan
    zippyzionWow. Harsh analyst. I wonder who he owns stock in. Samsung maybe? Both Panasonic and Sony make some of the best televisions on the market. Those two teaming up in any way is good for consumers. Them teaming up to lower costs is even better.
    there was a time when sony was the best you could get, at least on a normal consumer level, but that time has FAR gone away, and now its brand recondition that leads to a higher price, and not a higher price on the products own merits.
    Reply
  • bloodymaze
    Sharp is by far the best manufacturer I have seen for TVs in a long time.

    80" TV that can pull off no ghosting or artifacting on the screen while gaming/watching blu-ray is A+ in my book.

    Expensive TVs, but worth the extra $.
    Reply
  • eddieroolz
    zippyzionWow. Harsh analyst. I wonder who he owns stock in. Samsung maybe? Both Panasonic and Sony make some of the best televisions on the market. Those two teaming up in any way is good for consumers. Them teaming up to lower costs is even better.
    Gotta agree. I wonder if he has been paid for by Samsung or LG.

    I have my heart set on a Sharp AQUOS myself. I've used their cell phones with AQUOS technology and it was stunning.
    Reply
  • tomaz99
    zippyzionWow. Harsh analyst. I wonder who he owns stock in. Samsung maybe? Both Panasonic and Sony make some of the best televisions on the market. Those two teaming up in any way is good for consumers. Them teaming up to lower costs is even better.
    I've never heard of any "teaming up" that resulted in lower costs for consumers; normally it's competition that lowers the price.
    Reply
  • bavman
    mlcloudWhat's wrong with Catleap q270 or any other number of cheap korean monitors?
    Nothing but not a lot of people know about them. They are one of the best deals right now, prices sit around $310 on fleebay right now
    Reply
  • monsta
    Great news , both companies make great TV's , very smart for them to get together and join forces, Im looking forward to see what they come up with.
    Reply