Sharp's new screens aim to make HD-LCD pixels mobile

Summary:The company is now producing a new range of panels that will give smartphone screens the same pixel density of full HD-LCD TVs. What does this mean for the firm's future?

Sharp's new 1,080 x 1,920 LCD panels will feature a pixel density of 443 ppi which the technology giant claims is 1.3 times the industry standard and "among the highest in the world".

Production began at the end of September at Mie Plant No. 3 in Kameyama, Japan, and full-scale production of the new smartphone screen is expected to begin this month.

sharp screens ldc hd pixels

The new LCD panel integrates a new pixel design and revamped manufacturing process to achieve the rate of pixels normally reserved for large LCD television screens. According to Sharp, modern CG-Silicon technology allow the screens to display crisper text, super-clear maps and more realistic HD images.

"By providing ultra-detailed LCD panels to support the growing worldwide demand for smartphones, Sharp will contribute to smartphones with increasingly higher quality images," a company statement read.

Sharp produces the 5-inch screen for Apple's recently released iPhone 5. Before the device launched, reports claimed that the company was lagging behind in production -- and it remained "unclear" whether enough would be produced to cope with consumer demand. In light of today's low supply, an unnamed company executive at the Japanese firm said despite financial issues, the Kameyama LCD plant is manufacturing "adequate volumes" of the screen.

Recent reports have also suggested that Sharp is considering cutting over 10,000 jobs -- representing roughly 18 percent of its global workforce. In addition, the firm doubled cuts in management pay to ten percent in September, slashing end-of-year bonuses by 50 percent.

At the end of Q2, the firm owned $16 billion in debt after failing to reach an agreement with Foxconn over the purchase of a minority stake. However, even as Sharp's shares continue to fall and it remains at "junk" status through agency Standard & Poor's, the ailing firm secured a 360 billion yen ($4.64 billion) loan on Friday provided by the Bank of Tokyo Mitsubishi UFJ and Mizuho Corporate Bank.

Even with the rescue loan, the balance sheet is not looking healthy for the technology giant. Potentially, the new screens may be part of the Sharp's plan to launch its own range of smartphones in Southeast Asia in collaboration with Foxconn -- giving the firm an advantage over competitors if the screens prove popular with consumers -- as well as a means to clean up its finances.

Topics: Hardware, Smartphones

About

Charlie Osborne, a medical anthropologist who studied at the University of Kent, UK, is a journalist, freelance photographer and former teacher. She has spent years travelling and working across Europe and the Middle East as a teacher, and has been involved in the running of businesses ranging from media and events to B2B sales. Charli... Full Bio

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