Sharp Corporation Stories May 31, 2013

Update: Pricing has just been announced, at $3,799. Pricey, but actually not bad value in a market that had five-figure pricing not so long ago.

ASUS today revealed that it will launch a 31.5-inch 4k monitor late next month, its 3840×2160 pixels allowing four 1080p HD videos to display full-size on the same screen without overlap. A 4k monitor in such a small package is made possible by using an IGZO panel, whose smaller transistors enable greater pixel density, and is likely to be in the same league (and possibly from the same manufacturer) as the 32-inch Sharp panel we saw at CES.

However, don’t rush out to buy one just yet: it’s unlikely that even a top-spec Mac from today’s line-up would be able to drive the resolution at a decent frame-rate. But the next-generation of Haswell-powered Macs almost certainly will. Indeed, as we mentioned earlier, it’s even possible that a next-generation MacBook Air could do so … expand full story

Sharp Corporation Stories December 12, 2012

WSJ: Apple testing several TV set designs with component suppliers, not considered a ‘formal project yet’

The Wall Street Journal is out with a report today, citing sources close to Apple’s suppliers, on the company’s development of its much-rumored HDTV set. While the majority of the story is what we’ve heard from both analysts and past reports, according to WSJ, Apple is currently “still in the early stage of testing” but also in the process of evaluating several TV set designs with component suppliers. One of those suppliers is apparently Sharp:

Officials at some of Apple’s suppliers, who declined to be named, said the Cupertino, Calif.-based company has been working on testing a few designs for a large-screen high-resolution TV… Two people said Hon Hai Precision Industry Co., 2317.TW +0.63% which assembles the iPhone and iPad, has been collaborating with Japan’s Sharp Corp.6753.TO +7.80% on the design of the new television.

While some might speculate this means Apple is closer to bringing a TV set product to market, the WSJ noted in the same report that Apple “has been testing various TV prototypes for a number of years.” WSJ’s sources added that Apple’s TV set efforts are not considered a “formal project yet.”

Apple, which works with suppliers to test new designs all the time, has been testing various TV prototypes for a number of years, according to people familiar with the efforts. The company generally tests and develops products internally before doing so with outside suppliers.

Sharp Corporation Stories November 28, 2012

Sharp is announcing a 32-inch 4K monitor today that uses its LGZO LCD tech expected to hit the Japanese market in February 2013. The roughly $5,500 PN-K321 monitor sports a 3,840-by-2,160 resolution and HDMI and DisplayPort inputs. According to Sharp, it will also be the thinnest monitor frame on the market at just 35mm. Even if analysts were wrong about a full-fledged TV set from Apple next year, these new Sharp displays would certainly make a pretty Thunderbolt display.

Sharp will put its IGZO displays in the hands of consumers in the near future, as it recently announced its first 7-inch tablet to take advantage of the technology’s low-power consumption features. Apple decided to not go with Sharps’ IGZO displays for its latest round of iPad launches. It instead sourced display components from AU Optronics, LG Display, and Samsung, but several reports in the past indicated Apple is interested in the technology. Apple was even recently rumored to be potentially making an investment in the failing company—much like Apple partner Foxconn previously agreed to.

[tweet https://twitter.com/stroughtonsmith/status/273821545661607936]

expand full story

Sharp Corporation Stories November 5, 2012

Apple rumored to be making investment in failing Sharp

According to a report from IDG, Sharp has not so surprisingly announced in its recent earnings report there is “‘material doubt’ about its ability to continue operating.” While Apple’s manufacturing partner Foxconn previously agreed to buy an 11-percent stake in the company, today’s report noted those negotiations continue to drag on and risk falling through as Sharp’s stock price continues dropping. To turn the company around, rumor has it Sharp will focus on its IGZO technology and displays for smartphones and tablets, while possibly seeking investments from Apple in the process:

Sharp added, however, that it still believes it can cut costs and secure enough credit to survive. Its IGZO technology for mobile displays is likely to be a key element of its business strategy…The company, whose stock has been downgraded to junk status by ratings agencies, continues to seek investments from outside companies, with media reports in Japan linking it to companies including Apple and Intel.

As far back as November 2011, Apple was rumored to invest in Sharp’s display factories in Japan. Earlier reports indicated Sharp’s IGZO displays could possibly be used in Apple’s new 7.8-inch iPad mini, but recent teardowns of the device confirm Apple is using display components from Samsung, LG, Display, and AU Optronics. Sharp, however, remains a key Apple component supplier, and it recently confirmed it is back to producing “adequate volumes” of iPhone 5 displays after facing weeks of delays leading up to the device’s launch. In August, a report from Reuters suggested Apple could provide Sharp with financial incentives to speed up production and help with high costs cutting into the company’s margins on displays.

Sharp recently announced its first tablet to use the IGZO display technology. The displays are expected to go into mass production by the end of the year, so it’s certainly possible next generation iPads could take advantage.

Sharp Corporation Stories October 17, 2012

We heard reports in the past that Apple passed on Sharp’s IGZO display tech for the third-generation iPad due to Sharp not having the tech ready in time. Going with Sharp’s IGZO tech would have allowed for a thinner display assembly, a brighter display with less LEDs, and the ability to use a smaller battery or extend battery life specs as a result. It could have also helped shave off some of the increased weight and depth of the new iPad. These are all things we witnessed first hand when we got up close and personal with a few IGZO demos at IFA this year.  Sharp is announcing today its first 7-inch tablet to use the display technology, claiming the 1,280-by-800 IGZO display allows for 2.5 times the battery life from the tablet’s 2,040mAh battery (via ComputerWorld).

With the iPad mini launch coming later this month, it is a possibility the tech is finally ready for Apple to take advantage. Sharp also has 10-inch and 13-inch variants of the IGZO displays, but the 7-inch would of course make a lot of sense for iPad mini given what we already know about the device. Apple’s ability to increase battery life, or simply have the ability to use a smaller battery (in a smaller form factor) while maintaining battery life specs, is just one benefit. Another big benefit for Apple would be narrow borders: rumor has it—which is something we also talked about a lot in the past—the iPad mini will have a much narrower border than previous-generation iPads. Sharp told us its IGZO LCDs can be built with a bezel under 2mm, and it was showing off a demo display with a 1.75mm border at IFA. That would definitely fit the bill for the narrow-border, one-handed experience we expect from iPad mini. expand full story

Sharp Corporation Stories September 1, 2012

We had the opportunity to spend a lot of time with Sharp today at its IGZO display booth. While they would not say which Apple products would incorporate their new displays, they did seem to insinuate these were the best displays on the market, and Apple is the type of company that uses the best displays.

So why are these the best?

expand full story

Powered by WordPress.com VIP