Sharp is planning on launching an Android smartphone with a record screen-to-body ratio next year, Chinese outlet ITHome reported on Thursday, citing an interview with the company’s Chief Executive Officer Luo Zhongsheng. While no more details on the matter have been given, the remark suggests Sharp is targeting to cover more than 90 percent of its upcoming handset’s front panel with a display. Some of the most popular bezel-free devices released over the course of this year have screen-to-body ratios of around 85 percent, with this group including the likes of the Samsung Galaxy S8 and the LG V30.
Mr. Zhongsheng also revealed that the recently released Sharp Aquos S2 hasn’t been enjoying particularly high sales, with the company only selling approximately 10,000 units in the three-month period ending October 31st. While the CEO attributed that performance to the fact that Sharp’s smartphone brand presently doesn’t boast a massive appeal, especially as the company was on a break from the mobile segment in recent times, he still described its initial results as underwhelming. The figure was presented as a total number of sales from both online and offline channels in all markets. The current state of affairs prompted Sharp to strengthen its mobile portfolio and offer a wider variety of devices next year, with Mr. Zhongsheng revealing that the firm will be seeking to adopt the bezel-less aesthetics with all of its upcoming products, entry-level Android phones included. Besides its home country of Japan, Sharp is specifically targeting China and is hoping to increase its share of the world’s largest smartphone market in the near future.
The low-end 18:9 devices set to be released by the firm in 2018 will be priced at approximately 1,000 yuan ($151), whereas its mid-range offerings will be about twice as costly, the CEO said. Some of the OEM’s unannounced Android offerings have already emerged online in recent times, with its next batch of smartphones being expected to launch in January and make an appearance at Consumer Electronics Show 2018 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Besides an increased focus on China, Sharp is also planning on entering the European market next year, albeit in a limited capacity.