Sony seeking Taiwanese partner for next-generation TVs

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Sony seeking Taiwanese partner for next-generation TVs

TOKYO - Sony and Taiwanese LCD maker AUO are in talks over a tie-up on production of next-generation TVs amid fierce competition in the sector, a report said yesterday.

Struggling Sony, which last week unveiled a sweeping restructuring plan to curb massive losses, was also negotiating a joint venture with AUO to make organic electroluminescence (EL) screens, in a bid to compete with Korean rivals including Samsung Electronics, the daily Yomiuri Shimbun reported.

Both proposed ventures would use technology which promises sharper resolution and better energy efficiency.

In 2007, Sony began selling the world’s first organic EL TV.

The Japanese company withdrew from the business three years later, reportedly because of high development costs, but continued researching the technology.

A spokesman for the Japanese firm declined to comment on the Yomiuri story, saying “the report is not based on what we have announced.”

Meanwhile, Samsung and LG Electronics have said they will begin selling organic EL TVs later this year.

LG is expected to introduce its TV next month while it is speculated that Samsung will unveil its during the Olympic Games in London this summer.

Sony has said it will cut 10,000 jobs and spend nearly $1 billion on restructuring as its new leader Kazuo Hirai looks to turn the company around.

The “urgent” revamping would cost 75 billion yen ($923 million) this fiscal year, just days after Sony warned of a record annual loss -- its fourth consecutive year in the red.

Japan’s electronics giants have been battling falling prices, particularly in the TV segment, which have eaten away at their bottom lines and limited research and development efforts. A strong yen has also made their products more expensive overseas. AFP

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