Sharp Returns to OLED TV Production?

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The Japan Times reports a familiar name plans to make a return to TVs-- the Foxconn-owned Sharp is building large OLED panels for TVs in new production lines at its Japanese production plants

Sharp TVThe report adds the company plans to spend $15 million on the plants in the City of Sakai and the town of Maki, and hopes to start operations in April-June 2018. The plants will mass-produce not only TV panels, but also small and medium-size OLEDs for laptop and smartphone use.

In addition, it will continue development of 8K LCD TVs.

Currently, LG Display is the only company building OLED panels suitable for consumer TV use. These are found in OLED 4K TVs from the likes of Sony and Panasonic, as well as LG itself. OLED panels are pricey to produce, and as such the panel category still has a fairly small share of the global TV market.

Interestingly, recent reports suggest Sharp wants to buy back the right to use its name on TVs in America, which currently belongs to Hisense. According to the Wall Street Journal Sharp is accusing the Chinese company of ruining the brand with "shoddily manufactured" TVs and misleading advertising, and as such has to sue.

No word is available as to what Sharp plans to do in Europe. In this side of the world, the brand currently belongs to Slovakia-based UMC.

Sharp was forced to sell its brand in 2015 following a period of financial struggles in a competitive TV market. Soon afterwards the Japanese company was acquired by Foxconn, and is currently even seeing some profit. As such, suggestions Sharp is feeling confident enough to start making OLED TVs under its own name make more sense.

Go Sharp Plans Production Lines for Large OLED Panels (Japan Times)

Go Sharp to Americans: You Don't Want to Buy a Sharp-Brand TV