Samsung Electronics has parted company with Sony in the development of a new LCD manufacturing plant, after the Japanese manufacturer struggled to commit to half of the $1.5 billion needed to build the new 9th-generation plant.
Instead Samsung, which is set to go head-to-head with Sony in the Australian market, has decided to go it alone as Sony moves to using Chinese and Taiwanese TV manufacturers to make its Bravia TVs. Sony also has a joint manufacturing operation with Sharp for its premium Bravia LCD TVs.
In an interview with Korea Times, a Samsung official said, “Samsung will additionally invest in a new line, without bringing in Sony, and the official announcement is expected to be made either by the end of this month or in early February.”
Samsung had been waiting for Sony to make a decision regarding a joint investment on the LCD line to hedge the risks. However, Samsung is now intent on going alone, as Sony looks increasingly reluctant to invest, the official added.
Samsung and Sony, through their 50-50 joint venture S-LCD, have been jointly operating three LCD factories in Korea since 2004, and at one point about half of the Samsung LCD screens produced from these lines had been purchased by Sony.
At the end of third quarter 2009, Samsung supplied 22.7 per cent of its panels to Sony. This was down from the 47.5 percent supplied during the fourth quarter of 2008.
In several markets around the world including the US, Sony has seen its share of the TV market slump.