The major Japanese companies Sony and Panasonic’s efforts to collaborate in an effort to provide a competitor to the South Korean 4K OLED TV sets have not ended as fruitful as either company might have imagined, after the pair’s ‘development venture’ has ended in a split on the project.
Reported by ‘people with inside knowledge on the matter’, the Sony/Panasonic partnership was one intended to develop the technology that could take on current market leaders Samsung and LG in the fields of ‘big and ultrathin televisions’, though the ‘challenges’ of providing such a product are said to have been too much to work together on a full product.
Said to end by the turn of the year, the 18-month alliance formed in research and development of such a product is claimed to have not ended as sourly as some people might think, with the insiders claiming that the two brands still intend to potentially co-operate with ‘production technology’ for OLED panelling in the future for their own respective sets, while they remain partners in a research incentive on a new standardised disc format that 4K could carry.
OLED screens, noted as providing ‘improved image quality’ within a ‘thinner frame’ than LCD products as well as being ‘brighter and more energy-efficient’ than their counterparts, was an market first revealed by Sony in 2007 with an ’11-inch TV set’, though the lack of cost-effectiveness in the still-tame market has prevented them from going much larger on shelves since.
The partnership with Panasonic was intended to lower costs of OLED technology and ‘risks of development’ by sharing a product and the production facilities to build it in, but whilst apart for now the co-operation was claimed to have been beneficial with the knowledge sharing and technologies that took place behind-the-scenes over the year-and-a-half, ending with an enhanced production speed for any new OLED TV set made in the future by either company, presumably based on their shared prototype at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES 2013) in Las Vegas (USA).
In a market expected to multiply sixfold in their shipment coverage in 2014, the world of 4KHD, supported by OLED displays, is looking to be a fruitful one, but with much of the market attention currently directed across the Korea Strait, will Japan’s finest competitors be able to put out a strong challenge solo by this point?