Sony, Panasonic 'to announce' OLED TV partnership next week

Summary:Sony and Panasonic are set to saddle up together according to a Reuters report, which says the duo will announce a new OLED television partnership "next week."

Rival television makers Sony and Panasonic are set to announce a new partnership in the OLED television set space, Reuters is reporting.

An agreement forged between the two companies to develop next-generation OLED television sets could be announced as early as next week, two sources familiar with the plans told the news agency.

The two Japan-based technology firms have faced fierce competition from one another and suffered at the hands of their Korean partners.

It's understood that by combining the two corporate minds in research and development, the duo could take on television giant Samsung.

Sony and Panasonic --- along with Sharp --- remain the three powerhouses of Japan's television set monopoly. But while the manufacturing output remains steady, the three companies saw massive combined losses for 2011.

The defensive move follows Samsung's LCD television business spin-off earlier this year.

The Korean-based technology giant said it would wrap up its loss-making LCD display unit and focus on OLED televisions --- devices that use a fraction of the energy for a clearer and sharper output, and are often far thinner in design.

The OLED television market could jump to 16 percent of the overall market --- up by 4 percent today --- to $20 billion by 2018.

Sony is thought to be developing technology to fabricate screens using sprays. While Panasonic is using its inkjet technology to build an OLED prototype screen, it is said to have invested around $370 million to set up a test production line at a hardware-building plant in Japan.

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Topics: Mobility, Hardware

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Zack Whittaker writes for ZDNet, CNET, and CBS News. He is based in New York City.

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