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Sony, Panasonic in talks to create next-generation TV sets

Publication Date : 16-05-2012


Sony Corp. and Panasonic Corp. are in talks to form an alliance for developing organic electroluminescence televisions, it has been learned.

The two electronics giants are considering whether to accept investment from the government-backed Innovation Network Corporation of Japan to form an alliance and develop an iconic national brand to help them catch up to their South Korean rivals, according to sources close to the firms.

Organic EL TVs are expected to become the standard for next-generation flat-screen televisions because they can display higher-definition images and consume less electricity than liquid crystal TVs.

In 2007, Sony became the first company to sell organic EL TVs when it put 11-inch TVs on the market. Panasonic is planning to release 55-inch organic EL TVs by the end of fiscal 2015.

However, both companies are lagging behind their South Korean rivals. Samsung Electronics Co. and LG Electronics Inc. have announced plans to release 55-inch organic EL TVs by the year's end.

The performance of both Sony and Panasonic has been deteriorating because of poor results from their flat-panel television division. Through the envisioned collaboration, they could reduce capital spending and accelerate efforts to develop organic EL TVs, according to the sources.

Sony is in talks with Taiwan liquid crystal display panel maker AU Optronics Corp. with the aim of forming an alliance to produce organic EL TVs. The two companies have already begun developing prototypes.

If Sony and Panasonic agree to form an alliance, they might be able to begin the joint production of organic EL TVs in Taiwan, the sources said.

However, a Panasonic executive suggested the negotiations may be difficult and complex. "First of all, it's necessary to develop technology that can give us an edge," he said.


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