Galaxy S5 may come with Sharp’s 2K 560 ppi LTPS display, instead of Samsung’s own AMOLED
Jan06

Galaxy S5 may come with Sharp’s 2K 560 ppi LTPS display, instead of Samsung’s own AMOLED

Since the first Galaxy S launched back in 2010, Samsung has been using its own AMOLED displays for its flagships. But things might be different for the next generation Galaxy S5 smartphone. Chinese Tencent reports that Samsung has chosen Sharp’s 5.25” 2K Ultra HD 560 ppi LTPS display panels for SGS5. The reason for the switch? Samsung’s SDI subsidiary has encountered some serious production/yield issues with its 2K AMOLED displays and can not make enough of them to meet the projected Galaxy S5 sales volumes. That, and Samsung’s strong focus on getting its flexible AMOLED production to a mass market scale by 2015 prompted it to turn to Sharp for 2014 flagship screens. Samsung also bought a 3% stake in Sharp back in spring of 2013. Souce:...

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Foxconn knew about Samsung’s plan to invest in Sharp. Foxconn-Samsung partnership in the making?
Mar07

Foxconn knew about Samsung’s plan to invest in Sharp. Foxconn-Samsung partnership in the making?

Yesterday Sharp announced that Samsung bought a bit more than 3% of its shares, paying around $111 million, and in the process becoming the Japanese company’s biggest shareholder that isn’t a financial institution. Now this is good news for troubled Sharp, as well as for Samsung, since its investment secured it a steady supply of LCD panels form Sharp for the foreseeable future. But what about the Hon Hai group (known to you and me as Foxconn)? Apple’s biggest manufacturing partner is in a strange situation. On one hand, it wanted to invest heavily in Sharp. Around this time last year, a big deal was announced between Foxconn and Sharp, a deal through which the Taiwanese company would buy around 10% of the Japanese company, thus becoming its biggest shareholder. However, that deal hasn’t been finalized yet, and the deadline for doing that is later this month. On the other hand, Foxconn’s founder and head honcho Terry Gou has always had nothing but harsh words for Samsung. Those may have stemmed from his company’s close ties with Apple, which is obviously not Samsung’s biggest fan right now. So how does Foxconn feel about the Samsung-Sharp deal? Well, we’ll probably never know the full truth. The thing is though, Foxconn was notified about this agreement in advance. Foxconn declined to comment on the deal, “as Sharp is an independent company”, but it said that it appreciates Sharp’s respect for the relation with it. In other words, a thanks for the heads up. You may be wondering what will happen to the Foxconn-Sharp deal now. Will Terry Gou agree to be a shareholder in the same company as Samsung? Common sense (and history) would say no, but things may be changing. According to certain unnamed sources, a future partnership between Foxconn and Samsung is becoming more and more likely. First of all, because Foxconn hasn’t opposed the deal between the Koreans and Sharp. Second, because apparently Terry Gou’s criticism of Samsung’s strategies has started to lessen recently. His hostile attitude towards Samsung so far had more to do with trying to please Apple, as well as having something to do with ‘national sentiment’, rather than anything else. Which means that Gou may be slowly warming up to the idea of possibly partnering with the Korean giant. As you may have gathered, at this point this is nothing but conjecture spitted out by ‘market watchers’. So none of it may be true. On the other hand though, stranger things have happened in the mobile industry, and we’ve certainly seen stranger bed fellows. Via DigiTimes here and...

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Samsung buys 3% stake in Sharp for $111 million, secures LCD screen supply
Mar06

Samsung buys 3% stake in Sharp for $111 million, secures LCD screen supply

Samsung has just bought a 3.08% stake in Sharp, the ailing Japanese corporation that makes highly coveted LCD screens for everything from TVs to phones. This has cost Samsung around $111 million. And while 3% hardly sounds like a lot, this makes Samsung Sharp’s biggest shareholder that isn’t a financial institution, and the fifth biggest overall. However, the Korean company gets no say in Sharp’s management and strategic decisions. Sharp obviously is in a position where it desperately needed the money. The company’s rating is now ‘junk’ which means it can hardly borrow money from financial institutions. So it’s been doing this type of industry deals, first with Qualcomm (which now owns 2.56% of Sharp), and now with Samsung. But the elephant in the room is the Hon Hai Group, known as Foxconn. Apple’s manufacturing partner has been having talks with Sharp about a big investment for more than a year now. At one point last March it was pretty much a given that Foxconn would become Sharp’s biggest shareholder, after a $1.6 billion investment. Yet that hasn’t happened yet, and the deadline for closing that deal is the end of this month. So maybe Samsung’s involvement will help Sharp convince Foxconn to finally do it. Samsung is already a Sharp customer, but after this deal it will strengthen its cooperation with the Japanese company, buying especially TV screens, but also displays for laptops and mobile devices. Your move,...

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DoCoMo announces LG Optimus G Pro, Huawei Ascend D2, Sony Xperia Z and other Android Jelly Bean phones
Jan22

DoCoMo announces LG Optimus G Pro, Huawei Ascend D2, Sony Xperia Z and other Android Jelly Bean phones

Last night, when reporting about the arrival of LG’s Optimus G in more than 5 markets, I assumed that LG won’t announce the Optimus G Pro too soon. I was wrong. The G Pro has been officially presented today in Japan, where NTT DoCoMo has included in its Spring line-up. The Optimus G Pro (model number L-04E) has all the features we told you it would have: Android 4.1 Jelly Bean, a 5 inch Full HD (1920 x 1080) display, LTE, quad-core 1.7GHz Snapdragon processor, 13MP rear camera, 2GB of RAM, 32GB of internal memory, MicroSD card support (up to 64GB), and a 3,000 MAh battery. DoCoMo should start selling the Optimus G Pro in the coming months, in two color versions: black and white. It’s not clear if the handset will make it to other markets. Alongside LG’s first 1080p handset, the largest Japanese mobile carrier has also announced several other Android Jelly Bean smartphones, including: Sony Xperia Z, Huawei Ascend D2 (which seems to have a 4.7 inch 720p display, not a 5 inch 1080p one like the D2 launched in China), Sharp Aquos EX SH-04E, Panasonic Eluga X P-02E, Fujitsu Arrows X F-02E, and the dual-screen NEC Medias W N-05E. You can check out all the new devices here at NTT DoCoMo (in...

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Sharp’s 1080p Android Jelly Bean phone priced, compared to Samsung Galaxy S III and HTC One X+
Nov29

Sharp’s 1080p Android Jelly Bean phone priced, compared to Samsung Galaxy S III and HTC One X+

First seen earlier this month, the Sharp Aquos SH930W is the Japanese company’s only smartphone to have a Full HD (1920 x 1080) display. And, of course, it’s also one of the first in the world to sport such a screen. We already told you that the SH930W would be released in Russia. And now we’re hearing it’s going to be available in Hong Kong, too, starting next month (December). Sharp Hong Kong has put together some promo material that shows the SH930W next to some other high-end Android smartphones, including the Samsung Galaxy S III, Note II, and HTC One X+. Thanks to its 5 inch 1080p display (and the thinner bezel), the SH930W certainly looks more attractive. But Sharp should have compared it to the HTC Droid DNA – since this is the only one to also feature a 5 inch 1080p screen. Well, maybe next time. The Sharp Aquos SH930W runs Android Jelly Bean, and comes with a dual-core 1.5GHz processor, 2GB of RAM, 8MP rear camera, 2MP front-facing camera, and 32GB of internal memory. It will cost 4,488 HKD in Hong Kong – hence about $580. That’s significantly lower than the price for the Russian market (21,990 RUB – $712). It remains to be seen if Sharp will want to introduce the handset in other...

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Sharp Aquos Phone SH930W headed to Russia with 5-inch 1080p touchscreen
Nov06

Sharp Aquos Phone SH930W headed to Russia with 5-inch 1080p touchscreen

Sharp is apparently about to announce the Aquos Phone SH930W for Russia on Thursday, November 8. This smartphone (or rather, phablet) comes with the company’s famous very own 5-inch 1080p Full HD touchscreen and its 440+ ppi. The display is also of the IGZO variety (indium gallium zinc oxide), which means it offers improved image quality and power efficiency compared to ‘vanilla’ LCDs. The SH930W has a dual-core 1.5 GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon processor (MSM8260A), support for 3G, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and GPS, a microSD card slot, and it runs Android 4.1 Jelly Bean. This is an interesting move for Sharp. So far it’s been selling its smartphones mainly in its home market of Japan. And the company is facing some very tough times. Perhaps it’s hoping it can make a name for itself in Russia, and that may help it a bit. We’ll see. For now, don’t expect (or hope) the SH930W to be sold anywhere else, though. Via Hi-Tech@Mail.ru Via GSM...

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Sharp starts mass production of Full HD (1080p), 443 PPI 5 inch smartphone displays
Oct01

Sharp starts mass production of Full HD (1080p), 443 PPI 5 inch smartphone displays

Japanese giant Sharp announced that it’s starting mass-production of 5 inch smartphone displays with Full HD resolution (1920 x 1080 pixels) this month. At 443 PPI, the new displays have the highest pixel density ever achieved on a smartphone screen. The highest current density is around 340 PPI (Sony Xperia V, Xperia S, and HTC Rezound have it). China-based Oppo has already confirmed that it’s getting ready to launch an Android smartphone with a 5 inch 1080p display. HTC may be also among the first to introduce such a handset – possibly called HTC One X 5, or Google Nexus 5. I assume both devices will use Sharp-made screens. We’ll bring more on this as soon as new info emerges. Via Press...

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iPhone 5 displays will be shipped by Sharp this month
Aug02

iPhone 5 displays will be shipped by Sharp this month

September 12 is looking more and more likely to be the date on which Apple will announce the new iPhone. After the initial speculation on this matter, three different sources chimed in with the same date. So this might be it. If Apple is to release the new smartphone soon after that, then obviously production has to start well before. And that’s exactly what will happen. Sharp’s President Takashi Okuda (pictured below) said that his company will start shipping displays for the new iPhone sometime this month. The words were spoken at a press briefing in Tokyo today, following the publication of Sharp’s latest earnings report. Mr. Okuda didn’t go into detail, or provide a less vague time frame, but after many rumors claiming that iPhone 5 production has or hasn’t started, this is the first official stance we get from any of the companies involved in making Apple’s mobile devices. As the day of the grand unveiling approaches, we fully expect iPhone-related rumors to be even more prevalent, so get ready for that. Via...

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Sharp Aquos Phone SL IS15SH is a smartphone that looks like a sliding featurephone from yesteryear
Jul02

Sharp Aquos Phone SL IS15SH is a smartphone that looks like a sliding featurephone from yesteryear

Sharp’s newest smartphone for its home market of Japan looks nothing like a smartphone. In fact, it reminds us of the once ubiquitous portrait-sliding featurephones such as the Samsung D600, which were very popular across the world a long time ago. Perhaps taking inspiration from the fashion world, where everything old is always new again, Sharp decided to go with that funky look for the Aquos Phone SL IS15SH, made for KDDI. The smartphone runs Android 4.0, and features a sliding T9-like keyboard, as you can see. It comes with a 3.7-inch qHD (540×960) touchscreen, a 1.4 GHz single-core processor, an 8 MP camera, a 0.3 MP front-facing camera, 4 GB of built-in storage space, microSD card support, Wi-Fi, GPS, Bluetooth, and a 1,430 mAh battery. Oh, and it’s dustproof and waterproof. The Sharp-made Aquos Phone SL IS15SH will become available at KDDI on July 6. Via +D...

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Sharp to move its phone and tablet display tech to a Foxconn plant in China
May28

Sharp to move its phone and tablet display tech to a Foxconn plant in China

Sharp is set to move its advanced small-to-medium LCD panel technology to a Foxconn plant which is currently being built in China’s Sichuan province. That effectively means that all of Sharp’s top technology for making displays for phones and tablets will be moved from Japan to this new Chinese factory. This is another step in the ongoing partnership between Sharp and Foxconn (the Hon Hai Group), which was unveiled back in March. It was then when Foxconn took a stake in both Sharp and a big LCD panel factory established as a joint-venture between Sharp and Sony in Japan (Sony has since exited that venture completely). Two months ago we told you that mobile display panels were becoming increasingly more important to Foxconn, which is the world’s biggest electronics manufacturer. The partnership established back then helped Sharp, one of Foxconn’s most important suppliers, stay alive. The small-to-medium LCD technology transfer to China, however, is apparently all about the ambitions of Foxconn founder Terry Gou to surpass Samsung Electronics of South Korea in “technology prowess”, according to EE Times Asia. Samsung is currently the world’s biggest display maker for tablets and phones, and its continued growth in the space has not only prompted Foxconn’s deal with Sharp, but also the establishment of Japan Display, Inc. – a joint venture between Sony, Toshiba, and Hitachi, which was unveiled at the beginning of April. Apparently, Sharp was repeatedly invited into Japan Display, but the company ultimately decided that its partnership with Foxconn would be a better choice. Hopefully it was right – its future is at stake. And, in no small regard, the future of competition in the mobile display space, in which Sharp is currently...

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