by Anton Shilov
06/21/2012 | 10:04 PM
Arch-rivals Panasonic Corp. and Sony Corp. are projected to become allies next week when they sign an agreement to cooperate on next-generation OLED [organic light emitting diode] televisions. The companies reportedly intend to jointly develop new process technologies to mass produce OLED TVs that will be price-competitive with existing LCD-based televisions.
The two Japan-based companies are in talks to develop the manufacturing technology to build the OLED screens at more affordable prices in a bid to counter competition from South Korea's Samsung Electronics and LG Electronics, reports Reuters news-agency, which obtained the information from two sources. The first results from the partnership are expected to emerge sometime in 2015 and gain noticeable impact in the second half of this decade.
Previously Sony teamed up with Samsung and Sharp for joint LCD research, development and production, but late in 2011 and early in 2012 it sold shares in both joint-ventures and signed supply agreements instead. Panasonic is not known for any major joint-ventures when it comes to screens and TVs.
The cooperation between Sony and Panasonic will inevitably change the landscape of the OLED market significantly as the two have a clear aim to reduce pricing of appropriate screens. The biggest question is how successfully will the two companies act together and how competitive will be their products in general.
The display and TV businesses in the second half of this decade will inevitably become a new intense battleground as numerous new technologies will be about to enter the mainstream market by then. While stereo-3D televisions are available at obtainable price-points now, in the second half of the decade ultra high-definition (UHD) resolutions, UHDTV and improved color gamut will not only be technically possible, but will become selling major selling points and growth drivers. In such situations, it does make sense to form long-term alliances now.
Sony and Panasonic did not comment on the news-story.