updated 12:55 am EDT, Tue June 7, 2011
Sony and Toshiba said making mobile screen deal
Sony and Toshiba are looking to make a combined display manufacturing unit that would focus on smartphones and tablets, Japanese sources claimed early Tuesday [sub. required]. Nikkei was told the two were looking to generate cash with the measure and would see Innovation Network pay $1.24 billion to get as much as an 80 percent stake. The move would possibly lead to a plant making OLED screns in Higashiura.
Neither of the companies commented on the deal.
A move would be slightly unusual for Sony given reports that it considered the market soft for screens. At the same time, however, it may be looking to advance display technology in as economical a way as possible to get ahead of most competitors and offer an alternative to others. Samsung currently dominates the OLED market and is one of the few that can produce the smaller organic screens on a large scale.
Sony has been struggling to get OLEDs into TVs and hasn't advanced past its original 11-inch XEL-1. Its mobile devices are only beginning to get support in earnest through the five-inch OLED screen on the PlayStation Vita but would need better production for more. Outside customers like Apple and HTC may also want OLEDs in the future and, apart from technical limits, have had to stick to LCDs due to Samsung's narrow supply.