Panels boast highest pixel density of any display Sharp has made
According to Sharp, the company will begin production of three types of IGZO LCD panels that boast pixel densities among the highest in the industry. The panels, scheduled to begin production in June 2013 are intended for use in notebook PCs and will come in three sizes: 11.6 inches, 14 inches, and 15.6 inches. A 13.3 inch panel is already being produced by the company.
List includes nine smartphones, one tablet, one Raku-Raku device
Japanese carrier NTT DoCoMo has revealed the lineup of mobile devices that it will start offering over the summer. Eleven models make the cut, including nine smartphones, one tablet, and one "Raku-Raku" simplified smartphone. Notable additions include a new Sony Xperia smartphone, the Aquos Phone Zeta, and the Aquos Pad tablet from Sharp.
Manufacturer aims for small annual net profit following massive loss
Troubled electronics manufacturer Sharp has reportedly had its largest yearly net loss in its century-long history. The losses of 545 billion yen ($5.3 billion), which is higher than any other result in its last 100 years of doing business, with management at the company also seeing a reshuffle in another attempt to rectify its finances.
Three-year plan will halve employee count at head office
Sharp will be drastically cutting its number of employees over the next three years, as part of a plan to financially rectify itself. Out of the 51,000 currently employed by the company worldwide, Sharp will be reportedly cull 5,000 jobs across the board, with its main office in Osaka, Japan losing approximately half of its workforce.
Report conflicts with other rumors, reflects late-summer release
As talk of the next iPhone model -- which will arrive in June, July, or August depending on which supplier report one wants to believe -- heats up, rumors and reports from component suppliers and other sources often contradict each other on timetables. This confusion reinforces Apple CEO Tim Cook's statements that any one bit of information -- even if true -- was unlikely to provide the proper context given Apple's complex supply chain. That said, a source in Japan has reported that Sharp will be ramping up display units for the iPhone 5S next month.
New loans and extensions puts sharp 800 billion yen in debt
A pair of Japanese banks are considering a 100 billion yen ($1 billion) bailout loan to Sharp, to help it meet an upcoming bond redemption. The electronics manufacturer has nearly $2 billion in convertible bonds, similar to Apple's current offering, maturing in September. Lenders Mizuho Corporate Bank and Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ are also giving Sharp an extension on 360 billion yen in lending that matures in June. The offerings by the banks puts Sharp in the red to the two banks to just over $8 billion.
Tablet expected to be thinner, Mini-like
Mass production of the fifth-generation iPad is only slated to start in a July-August window, say DigiTimes sources in Taiwan-based supply companies. The people add that the display is expected to be manufactured by Sharp and LG Display, while touch panel assembly will be done by TPK, and ITO thin film will come from Nitto Denko and Teijin. Some earlier rumors had an iPad announcement taking place as soon as this month.
Sharp to fail in defining display specifications in time, $60M delayed
A $60 million payment to Sharp from Qualcomm as part of an investment agreement has been delayed, due to a looming deadline set to be missed. The second half of the $120 million deal had a number of requirements in order to be paid on time, including making an operating profit in the second half of its financial year, holding net assets worth at least 100 billion yen ($1.05), and to prepare for the production of new display panels, requirements which Sharp has failed to accomplish.
Deal sees Samsung own over 3-percent of Sharp
Sharp has received an investment of 10.4 billion yen ($112 million) from Samsung, in exchange for shares. The deal, confirmed through Sharp in a statement, sees Samsung taking ownership of newly-issued shares from the company, giving it the equivalent of 3.08-percent of the overall shareholder voting rights.
LG, Sharp tapped as panel suppliers
The fifth-generation iPad will use the same G/F2 (DITO) thin-film touchscreen format as the iPad mini, claim industry sources for DigiTimes. The fourth-gen model uses a more conventional G/G touchscreen arrangement, but the sources suggest that Apple may feel it has enough supply of DITO to carry it over to the flagship iPad. The technology could help make the tablet even thinner and lighter than it is currently.
iPad mini may be diverting demand
Sharp has "nearly halted" production of 9.7-inch screens for the iPad, Reuters reports. Two industry sources for the newswire agency say that on the iPad line at Sharp's Kameyama plant, production has dropped to the minimum level needed to keep it moving, after a gradual slowdown that started at the end of 2012. Apple is reportedly managing its inventory.
Phone allegedly seeing 'weaker-than-expected' demand
Apple is slashing its parts orders for the iPhone 5 due to demand falling lower than expected, say Wall Street Journal sources. For the current quarter Apple has reportedly cut screen orders to about half of what it had originally planned for. The sources note that Apple told suppliers about reduced orders last month; one source elaborates that more than just screens have been affected. Sharp, LG Display, and Japan Display Co. are allegedly the main suppliers for iPhone 5 screen panels.
Foxconn to handle stateside production, AU Optronics to do IGZO
A pair of unconfirmed reports from the sometimes-accurate Taiwanese trade publication DigiTimes claims that Apple is exploring the idea of moving Mac mini production to a Foxconn Electronics facility in the US, and that Apple is evaluating switching its iOS devices to IGZO display panels in a rollout of revisions across 2013. Sharp, the company behind the IGZO technology, has allegedly licensed Innolux Corporation and may possibly add AU Optroics to help produce displays.
No LCD supplier lined up, source says
A new report by Focus Taiwan -- an English service of Taiwan's national news agency -- is disputing some recent claims about Apple's expected HDTV. Sources close to Hon Hai, better known as Foxconn, support the notion that the manufacturer is testing several TV designs. One source argues however that it's unlikely that the TV will ship in 2013, something some analysts have previously called for.
HDTVs, digital cameras, printers and more
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ICC Purios has 60-inch display, multi-channel recording
Sharp is joining the 4K race with its own Ultra High-Definition television. The "Integrated Cognitive Creation" (ICC) Purios joins the ranks of LG and Sony in putting a 4K screen on the market, and although the 60-inch display doesn't match its 84-inch competitors, Sharp does boast it to be the first 4K TV to be released with a THX-certification.
Sources say product is still in 'early stage of testing'
Apple is testing a few designs for a large-sized TV set, according to supply chain sources reached by the Wall Street Journal. Unlike many similar reports, though, one source warns that Apple may or may not put a TV into production. "It isn't a formal project yet. It is still in the early stage of testing," the person says.
Qualcomm and Sharp announce strategic display tech tie-in
Sharp has announced that it has entered into an agreement with Pixtronix, a subsidiary of Qualcomm, for the development of its MEMS display technology. As part of the deal, Qualcomm will take a stake in Sharp for a total of 9.9 billion yen (around $120m). The deal will see Sharp commercialize MEMS technology by integrating with its vaunted IGZO display tech, while further collaboration between two companies on chipsets and displays has also been mooted.
LED screen measures 20-inches, supports stylus input
Shortly after its announcement to sell a 4K IGZO monitor in February, Sharp is also preparing to release a 20-inch touchscreen display in Japan. The LL-S201A, branded "Big Pad" by the manufacturer, supports up to ten points of multi-touch input, as well as a stylus with a 2mm tip for more precise work.
Display technology leads to 35mm-thick screen
Sharp has announced it will be releasing its first 4K LCD display that takes advantage of its IGZO (indium gallium zinc oxide) technology. The PN-K321 is a 32-inch screen meant for design-related business use that can display images at a resolution of 3840x2160, while having a fairly slimline design measuring just 35mm (1.4 inches) thick.
Japan-only handset uses low-power display technology
Sharp will start shipping its first smartphone using the company's new IGZO display technology from November 29th in Japan. The Aquos Phone Zeta SH-02E uses the new ultra low-power consumption display, built using an indium gallium zinc oxide technology, which requires significantly less backlighting than other displays to be visible.
Sharp in 'material doubt' about survival
Apple and Intel are among the companies Sharp is considering taking investments from in order to survive, according to Japanese reports cited by IDG. Despite being a well-known brand, Sharp has been suffering financially, and during a recent earnings report stated that there was "material doubt" about its ability to keep operating. Foxconn earlier agreed to buy an 11 percent stake, but IDG says that talks are still ongoing, and could be at risk as Sharp's stock price continues dropping.
Profit expected in last two years of its fiscal year
Struggling electronics manufacturer Sharp Corporation increased its full-year loss forecast to 155 billion yen ($1.94 billion) from a previous estimate of 100 billion yen. Unexpectedly, and also mentioned in the update, Sharp claims to be able to post an operating profit in the current second half of its fiscal year.
Sharp looks to nature for display inspiration in new AQUOS XL series
Sharp has taken the covers of its new AQUOS Quattron 3D XL TV series. In addition to featuring Sharp’s Quattro four primary color technology that includes a yellow sub-pixel, the new TVs incorporate a new technology Sharp is calling ‘Moth-Eye.’ This is said to significantly reduce glare by cutting light scattering as well as internal reflection.
Phones with 1080p screens due to arrive during first half of next year
South Korean electronic companies LG and Samsung are rumored to release smartphones with 1080p displays in the first half of 2013, daily paper MK News reported. LG is said to use LCDs for its screen, while Samsung will reportedly go with AMOLED technology. Such displays will have a minimum pixel density of 440ppi, compared to the current Apple iPhone's 326ppi screen.
New tablet said to increase battery life due to lower-power display
Sharp has announced its intention to launch the Aquos Pad -- a 7-inch tablet with its IGZO display in early December. The tablet has a 1280x800 display, and other technologies which the company says stretches the life of the 2,040mAh battery out to 2.5 times greater than existing tablets. The IGZO technology could also be used to power the display for Apple's rumored iPad mini, which may debut at the company's scheduled October 23 press event.
Sharp releases first smartphone with IGZO LCD tech
The first smartphone to be launched with Sharp’s vaunted IGZO display technology will be one of Sharp’s own models. The Sharp Aquos Phone Zeta (SH-02E) sports a 4.9-inch display that uses a ultra lower power consumption technology built using indium gallium zinc oxide technology. As the display is more translucent than a typical LCD, it requires less backlighting, lowering power consumption dramatically.
Sharp to begin full-scale production of ultra-sharp touchscreen for phones
Sharp, which makes the 4-inch display for the iPhone 5, has now revealed that it started producing 5-inch displays that have 1,920x1,080 resolution. They also promise to be ultra-sharp, thanks to their record 443ppi density. To compare, the iPhone 5's screen houses 1,136x640 pixels at a density of 326ppi.
May signal end to deep iPhone shortages
Sharp is finally producing "adequate volumes" of displays, according to a company executive quoted by Reuters. The wire agency notes that the displays are intended for the iPhone 5, and may indicate that shortages of the phone are about to ease up. Although the 5 set a record for Apple by selling 5 million units over its launch weekend, analysts were expecting higher numbers, and have blamed the discrepancy on display supplies.
Workforce reductions a possible path to profitability
Japanese electronics maker Sharp has submitted a restructuring plan to its creditors, one that envisions job cuts in excess of 10,000 as well as asset sales in an effort to return to profitability. Sources familiar with the plan tell The Wall Street Journal that it would involve wage reductions in addition to letting go of nearly one-fifth of Sharp's global employees. The electronics and component manufacturer has enjoyed some success in Japan, but the strength of the Japanese yen and increased competition abroad have cut deeply into Sharp's bottom line.
Sharp experiencing production glitches with in-cell display tech
Sharp is said to be facing serious production delays of its alleged in-cell touchscreen displays destined for the next-generation iPhone. Sharp had previously promised that it would begin the mass production of the mobile displays with the new technology over this past month, but sources speaking to The Wall Street Journal say that this has not gone ahead as planned. The in-cell display technology uses new manufacturing methods, and Sharp is said to be facing technical difficulties in moving to the mass production phase.
Foxconn could buy Sharp TV plants in China, Mexico
Hon Hai and Sharp are considering making a $1 billion investment in the latter's LCD plant in Sakai, Japan to help production of displays for Apple devices, Reuters reports. C.C. Lin, an official for Hon Hai -- better known as Foxconn -- made the interest public earlier this week. Lin suggests that Hon Hai is also considering buying Sharp's TV assembly factories in China and Mexico; as for the Japanese investment though, Reuters indicates that an arrangement could be announced as soon as Friday.
One in four mobile consumers owns a smartphone
In Japan, as in the rest of the world, Google's Android operating system is the top mobile platform; and Apple remains the top individual smartphone manufacturer. This according to new figures out from market research firm comScore, which surveyed more than 4,000 Japanese mobile subscribers for its most recent study. The study also found considerable growth in the Japanese smartphone audience, with the number of smartphone users growing 43 percent since the beginning of the year.
Sharp ramping up next-gen mobile display production
Taking a leaf from Sony President Sir Howard Stringer, who let it be known that it was supplying camera sensors to Apple, Sharp President Takashi Okuda has done likewise. Speaking to journalists following Sharp's $1.2 billion loss for Q1, Okuda touted that its new mobile displays headed for the new iPhone "will start in August." However, Okuda wouldn't be pushed beyond revealing that the displays were now ready for OEMs.
Overheating in tablet blamed on two-LED design
Apple is reverting the third-generation iPad back to a one-LED backlighting setup, as opposed to the two-LED system the tablet introduced, according to industry sources quoted by DigiTimes. The two-LED arrangement is allegedly responsible for the overheating problems people have sometimes complained of. The heat is said to be coming not only from the extra lights but the extra power needed to run them.
Analysts stick to $249-299 pricetag
Apple is indeed working on a 7.85-inch model of the iPad, using IGZO (indium gallium zinc oxide) panels made by Sharp, according to anonymous industry sources. While both claims have been made before, rumors about a smaller iPad have largely quieted in recent weeks. IGZO allows for better images from a thinner screen, with pixel densities potentially extending up to 330ppi, which could put a mini iPad into Retina territory.
Deals on Blu-ray players, headphones, and more
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Terry Gou says next iPhone is a GS3 killer
The CEO of Foxconn, Terry Gou has told Focus Taiwan that the next-generation iPhone will put the Samsung ‘Galaxy S III to shame.' He advised consumers thinking of getting the Galaxy S III to wait for the launch of Apple’s next smartphone although he did not go into any details as to what made it worth waiting for. He also took the opportunity to talk up Foxconn’s partnership with Sharp for display development and indicated that he is keen to help Sharp topple Samsung in displays.
Design firm Frog handled Android UI makeover
Sharp has announced that the next wave of its Aquos smartphones will feature a custom-designed user interface atop the Android operating system. Dubbed Feel UX, the user interface was built by the design firm Frog. The redesign was explicitly focused on differentiating the Aquos line from other Android handsets, and it covers everything from the unlock screen to app and contact management.
Could be used to pull orders for Apple TV set
Hon Hai -- better known as Foxconn -- is in talks to buy more shares from Sharp, according to company chairman Terry Gou. Reuters reports that Gou revealed the information at the company's annual meeting on Monday; he specifically noted that Hon Hai is taking advantage of a recent drop in Sharp's share price. "When we [first] bought [in March], Sharp's shares were 550 yen, now it is 400 something. It's been dragged by the macro environment. We have already sent delegates there to see if we can buy more shares," said Gou.
NTT DoCoMo to bring three new Android 4.0 phones this summer
NTT DoCoMo has announced that the Sharp Aquos SH-07D, SH-09D, and SH-10D smartphones will be appearing on its network this summer. The three phones, each running Android 4.0, will debut separately on the network in a variety of colors.
LG, Sharp, Japan Display again named as builders
Sources for Reuters are supporting Wall Street Journal claims that Apple is using 4-inch displays for the next iPhone, and has already begun to place orders for the new parts. As with the earlier report, Reuters says that LG Display, Sharp, and Japan Display are handling production, which is allegedly in early stages; full production orders could begin in June. iPhone assembly could start as soon as August, if Apple follows normal patterns. One source comments that it's still uncertain what share of display production each supplier will have.
WSJ tips larger 4-inch display for new iPhone
The Wall Street Journal is reporting that Apple has placed orders for iPhone displays measuring ‘at least 4-inches diagonally’ for its sixth generation iPhone expected in October. Citing ‘people familiar with the situation’ production on the new displays is set to begin next month. Apple is said to be working with LG, Sharp and Japan Display (a newly formed partnership between Sony, Hitachi and Toshiba) on the new screens, which can be expected to be Retina Display-class.
Sharp switch to mobile to take it profitable
Sharp in reporting its full-year results Friday both outlined a planned return to health and detailed the costs of a shift to mobile technology. It posted a steep loss equivalent to nearly $4.7 billion for its fiscal year, which ended with a $1.4 billion loss for its March quarter, but planned for its current fiscal year to get a slight profit of $248.2 million. Most of that would come from its partial change to mobile, as it expected TV sales to drop 19 percent even as the overall LCD business grew 29 percent.
Sharp joins Sony, Panasonic in heavy LCD TV losses
Sharp has posted (pdf) what it is referring to as an ‘extraordinary loss’ largely due to LCD business restructuring. Sharp expects that the costs incurred in converting its production lines for large screen Aquos LCD TVs will be recouped by focusing more closely on mobile displays and developing new-generation IGZO displays. It now joins compatriots Sony and Panasonic in suffering heavy losses due to the highly competitive nature of the LCD TV and display market.
comScore sees smartphone take hold in Japan
Smartphones have broken the reign of the traditional Japanese cellphone for the first time, comScore found late Monday. As of February, smartphones were overall more popular than keitais, the often feature-heavy but complicated basic phones that have dominated Japanese use for more than a decade. Local brands like Sharp still led at 23.5 percent, but they were either flat or down slightly as frequently foreign smartphone brands took hold.
Pixel Qi preps efficient Retina Display-like tech
Pixel Qi founder Mary Lou Jepsen has revealed that her company is working on a super-dense version of its signature display. The panel would have the same 2048x1536 resolution as the new iPad, but at much lower power than Apple's technology. Even in a bright office, the new panel at about 10 inches in size uses two watts, versus five for the iPad in the same lighting and nearly eight when it's outdoors.
iPhone 2012 may drop glass-on-glass touch
Apple's next iPhone might drop the traditional glass-on-glass approach to touchscreens if one rumor proves true. Part suppliers claimed to Digitimes that Sharp and Toshiba Mobile Display were "likely" producing in-cell touch panels now that yield rates were good enough for the two to participate. The two would start production of in-cell panels sometime during the spring, although it wasn't clear if that schedule would include Apple.
New sensor has industry's highest pixel count
Sharp has announced the development of a new, 20.2 million-pixel CCD image sensor for compact digital cameras. The 1/2.3-inch sensor will have the highest pixel count of all the 1/2.3-inch CCD image sensors that use an interline transfer method and are designed for the small size.
Foxconn stepped in instead, says analyst
On the heels of the news from last month that Foxconn had bought a 46.5 percent stake in Sharp's LCD business, analyst Brian White with Topeka Capital Markets say that Apple "debated" buying a share of Sharp itself. White says his information comes from a technology trade show he attended in China, and tells his investors that the story indicates that Sharp's IGZO technology has been deemed important for Apple's future plans.