First it was Samsung who pulled out of a TV manufacturing relationship with Sony, now Sharp has pulled the plug on the struggling Japanese Company.Sharp’s relationship with Sony came about in 2009, when Sony invested $126 million in Sharp’s LCD display business and received a 7 percent stake in the display manufacturer.
Recently Apple manufacturing partner Foxconn purchased a 50 percent stake in Sharp for $809.1 million with the Company tipped to be Apple’s partner in the development of an Apple TV.
According to sources Sharp’s relationship with Sony who recently said that they were cutting back in their TV business went “pear shaped” when Sharp asked Sony to invest additional money into the TV manufacturing operation.
When questioned about the fallout with Sharp, Sony announced that they’ll sell back their 7 percent at a full refund.
According to DigiTimes Sony is now cuddling up to low cost TV manufacturers in Taiwan and China. In Australia several retailers have moved to cut back on stocking Sony products in favour of TVs from LG and Samsung.
Sony’s new CEO Kaz Hirai hopes Sony will return to profitability this year after seven straight years in the red. As part of the company’s cost cutting program, Sony announced plans last month to axe 10,000 jobs in an ongoing move to reign in its ailing TV business. This is the third such mass exodus Sony’s seen since 2005.
There is also speculation that Sony is forming a partnership with Panasonic to begin producing cheaper OLED TVs.