In an effort to meet consumer demand for low cost TV’s Sony has confirmed that it will source more than $15 Billion dollars worth of LCD TV components from Taiwan this year. They have also confirmed that they will launch new OEL TV technology.
As LCD TV prices fall major brands like Sony are changing their manufacturing models in an effort to cut costs. Recently Sony admitted that they will source more than $15 million dollars worth of components including Bravia TV and Sony PS3’s from Taiwan in 2007 a Country that is fast establishing itself as one of the worlds leading sources of LCD TV technology.
Katsumi Ihara, executive deputy president of Sony, was quoted in saying the growth for Sony’s procurement value with Taiwan in fiscal year 2007will be at the same level as that for fiscal year 2006. Kenji Sakai, chairman and managing director of Sony Taiwan, said Sony’s procurement value from Taiwan grew about 1.5 times during fiscal year 2006, as compared to that in fiscal year 2005.
Components for Play Station (PS) series, Bravia LCD TVs, game consoles, notebook assembly and LCD panels are the major items Sony have outsourced from Taiwan-based players, Sakai added.
In related news, worldwide sales for PlayStation 3 (PS3) totaled about two million units from November 2006 to January 2007, Ihara said. Sony’s strong PS3 shipments in Europe was due to a steady supply and the maker is confident to achieve have achived the shipment goal of six million units for fiscal year 2006, Ihara stated.
Sony has also confirmed that it plans to start selling this year thinner televisions with organic electroluminescent (OEL) screens, becoming the first company to commercialize this kind to TV set, a Sony spokeswoman said.
‘Eleven-inch size televisions with organic electroluminescent screens are planned to be available in the market within this year in Japan,’ the spokeswoman said. She said the price had yet to be determined.The company aims to eventually produce larger 32 & 40″ televisions using OEL screens, she said.Several companies are investing in OLED technology because it can produce bright, colourful images and does not require a backlight as do liquid crystal displays (LCDs), allowing for a thinner panel. OLED panels are also said to be energy-efficient and good at reproducing fast-moving images.
At a display forum in Tokyo, customers, suppliers and even rival TV makers turned their backs on 50-inch and bigger TVs to throng before Sony’s tiny 11-inch OLED TVs.
“LCD and plasma displays look faded in comparison,” said a Denso employee who declined to be named, fighting to take a picture of the new TVs.
OLED displays are already used in digital cameras, mobile phones and other devices with relatively small panels. But cost and technology hurdles have so far prevented them from being mass produced for use in larger equipment such as TVs.
The OLED TV to be launched this year will be made by ST Liquid Crystal Display, a joint venture between Sony and Toyota Industries, Sony spokesman Daiichi Yamafuji said, declining to give unit targets or a likely price.
Sony has invested aggressively in LCD technology and is now the world’s largest player in the LCD TV market. It makes big LCD panels in a joint venture with
South Korea’s Samsung Electronics
“It won’t be easy for OLED TVs to replace LCD TVs, but we would like to turn OLED TVs into a big new business,” Sony Executive Deputy President Katsumi Ihara said in a speech at the display forum.
The Nikkei business daily reported earlier that Sony would begin by mass-producing about 1,000 of the 11-inch OLED sets a month – a fraction of its LCD TV business – and would aim to keep their price within a few times that of existing flat TVs.
“OLED sets are very expensive, and we mean to begin first by marketing the TVs as a status symbol,” said Sony’s Kazuhiro Imai, a senior manager of the company’s TV and Video business group. “We will see where the business goes from there.”
Ihara said Sony slightly exceeded its target of selling 6 million LCD TVs in the business year ended last month, and reiterated a target to sell 10 million units this year.
Other companies investing in OLED displays include Seiko Epson Corp., Canon Inc., Samsung and a joint venture between Toshiba and Matsushita Electric.
Toshiba President Atsutoshi Nishida said on Thursday the company hoped to make larger TV-use OLED panels at the joint venture, Toshiba Matsushita Display Technology, by 2009, taking aim at the $US35 billion flat TV market, which is currently dominated by LCD and plasma display technology.