updated 08:15 am EST, Fri December 21, 2007
Sharp and Toshiba Deal
Sharp and Toshiba today vowed to change the TV business with a new alliance that will play off of each other's strengths. Under the deal, Sharp will receive semiconductors from Toshiba to handle the image processing in its AQUOS sets; Toshiba in turn will receive LCD panels for all of its HDTVs from 32 inches and larger. This expansion will be necessary to keep up with the sheer demand for LCDs, the companies say: as much as half of Sharp's circuit needs will be filled by Toshiba by 2010, while 40 percent of Toshiba's screens will come from Sharp at the same time.
The agreement will take effect as of fiscal 2008 for both companies, though the TV makers have not said whether the cooperation will lead to cost improvements but indicate that it should help the image processing of TVs and help Sharp in particular produce slimmer and more efficient sets. The move comes as Japanese TV makers have announced a sudden consolidation of their market, with Panasonic buying into Hitachi LCDs and Sony quitting rear-projection in favor of its own LCD business.