Sharp Corporation is aiming to ramp up competition with South Korea's Samsung and LG Display in the OLED (organic light-emitting diode) panel market by seeking a partnership with Japan Display Incorporated, its major rival in Japan, according to the company's chief executive officer quoted by Reuters. Tai Jeng-wu said the company plans to call for aid from the Japanese government in order to establish an OLED alliance that consists of purely Japanese manufacturers, adding that the display maker intends to discuss the plan with industry regulators and the Innovation Network Corporation of Japan, which holds 36 percent of Japan Display.
Part of Sharp's plan is to begin manufacturing OLED displays no later than 2019, which also coincides with Japan Display's goal of producing OLED panels starting next year. The alliance is just one of the many endeavors Sharp wants to pursue in order to strengthen its position in the OLED display market, which is currently dominated by Samsung. Among many investment plans Sharp wants to carry out in the future are more than $514 million in funding set aside for OLED modules for smartphones and tablets. Part of that investment will be dedicated to OLED panels for laptops and television sets, though the company is also reportedly planning to continue its manufacturing lines for liquid crystal display panels for TVs and other consumer electronic products. That is despite the fact that OLED panels are pushing the prices of LCD panels further down, according to a recent report by Display Supply Chain Consultants, with analysts forecasting the growing adoption of OLED displays to continue over the coming years.
The Foxconn-owned company is reportedly set to begin OLED developments later this year, with its future OLED manufacturing facilities scheduled to kick off full operations by the end of the second quarter of 2018. In addition to Sharp's planned tie-up with Japan Display, the company is also said to be seeking the government's assistance for its plan to invest in JOLED, which is affiliated with Japan Display and is presently in the process of raising 100 billion yen ($888 million) in funding for the expansion of its production lines.