updated 09:40 am EST, Wed February 27, 2008
Samsung Sony Joint Factory
Samsung is close to negotiating a deal with Sony that would see the two companies establish a joint LCD assembly line, says a source from Samsung. The claim would have an eighth-generation LCD plant built at one of Samsung's main plants just south of Seoul, South Korea and would help both companies produce the larger panels needed for modern HDTVs. The move is likely to help Sony soften the costs of making its own sets, which are often priced higher than some competing models. Sony has not commented on the claim but just yesterday said it would invest in a Sharp plant which is now known to be meant for future 10th-generation LCDs that will be larger and more advanced than current LCDs.
Both Samsung and Sony already work together for LCD TVs and may jointly develop a 10th-generation LCD line of their own, says the purported insider. However, Sony's understood goal for both the Sharp and reported Samsung efforts is to diversify its sources and prevent shortages or production problems at any one location. Sony intends to sell at least 15 million TVs in 2008 alone and may need the borrowed capacity to ensure it can meet its targets for the year.