Samsung wants in on the IGZO screen tech action, to inject $110 million in Sharp

Samsung wants in on the IGZO screen tech action, to inject $110 million in Sharp
Sharp was on the brink of collapse until very recently due to shrunk TV demand globally, and last year Apple was rumored to front it more than $1 billion to keep the sweet IGZO screens supply steady. When the consumer focus shifted from the iPad 4 to the humble iPad mini, though, Sharp started getting less utilization for its giant Kameyama plant, so the Japanese were looking for an alternative.

That savior is now coming in the form of none other but Samsung, Apple's arch rival, which is said to announce today a $110 million investment in Sharp, for about a 3% stake in the company. According to Tetsuro Ii, chief executive officer of Commons AM, a Tokyo based investment fund: "Rather than the amount of investment, it is the partnership with Samsung that Sharp gains that is important. Sharp gains an opportunity to use the Samsung platform."

It looks like the partnership will mostly be focused on large TV panels, rather than phone and tablet screens, but it remains to be seen whether Samsung will also gather access to the groundbreaking IGZO screen tech, which allows for thin and high-res panels with power-sipping abilities - something definitely in the ballpark of mobile display requirements. Qualcomm also fronted Sharp $120 million last year for joint development of the frugal IGZO screens, so the mobile industry is definitely paying attention to Sharp's technology now.

source: Reuters

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11 Comments

1. MartianMe unregistered

Haha ...Apple..you can run but you can't hide from samsung. they're coming after you in every possible way...that's what you get.

4. UrbanPhantom

Posts: 949; Member since: Oct 30, 2012

That all depends: nuclear war between the two Koreas may put a dent in sales ;o)

10. ray77

Posts: 126; Member since: Nov 17, 2012

ur funny l like that lol

2. belovedson

Posts: 1061; Member since: Nov 30, 2010

duh igzo is a big deal. i am sure, however, apple has some sort of exclusive rights to the panels for tablets and phones. i'm not sure if igzo will be a worthy investment over a sum of a few years for mobile tech. samsung seems close to figuring out flexible screen technology and with combination of other tech will again transform mobile tech. it would be smart for samsung to focus on the other manufacturer process to make the flexible thing more feasable.

3. MartianMe unregistered

True..but at least it would be fun to annoy apple.

5. MartianMe unregistered

That's not going to happen...that's just crazy politics propaganda to keep us scare so that we support going to war. don't worry.

6. pwnarena

Posts: 1129; Member since: Feb 15, 2013

again the debilitating case of japanese tech for non-jap companies' use. how will japan rebuild the made in japan brand if they keep giving away technology that could differentiate their companies. the japanese government should interfere.

8. joey_sfb

Posts: 6794; Member since: Mar 29, 2012

Interfere base on what? Sharp is privately own apple wanted to buy but were shown to the door. Samsung just buy 3% that small change to both Samsung and Sharp. However, Samsung is smart with that they could block an outright sale of sharp to apple.

11. pwnarena

Posts: 1129; Member since: Feb 15, 2013

in case you don't know many companies in japan are being financially supported by big banks and the government. the government usually helps ailing companies to prevent them from collapsing and to protect whatever technology they have developed. take the case of sony's battery unit (mostly for cars). the japanese government directed funding to allow sony to sell that non-core operation (to a japanese biz) but not to taiwanese investors. they wanted to keep the battery technology for japanese use.

7. MrJerry

Posts: 403; Member since: Oct 05, 2012

I checked the original source of this article PA missed two big things: 1.Apple order 50% less iphone5 panel from sharp 2. Allience between Sharp n Honghii(Foxcon) didnt work out These two are the main reasons why Sharp had to choose its biggest rival Sammy and today Sharp stock has raised 19% up. It is first time big deal between Korean comapny and Japanese company. You know they dont like each other

9. rusticguy

Posts: 2828; Member since: Aug 11, 2012

So now Apple will turn away from Sharp for panels right? Good so who next? This is what is known as fighting the "WAR" though different style from thermo nuclear one :D

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