TOKYO Dec 25 Sony Corp and Panasonic
Corp, Japan's two largest consumer electronics
companies, said on Wednesday that they will end joint
development of organic light emitting diode (OLED) television
screens, a thinner and brighter type of next-generation display
in which Korean rivals have a head-start.
The two companies, which have been scaling back their TV
operations after chalking up heavy losses in recent years, will
instead focus their efforts on conventional liquid crystal
display screens for so-called 4K ultra high-definition
televisions which have shown greater promise, company spokesmen
Sony and Panasonic formed the OLED alliance in June last
year with the goal of developing mass-production technology by
the end of 2013. Doubts had mounted over the partnership's
prospects, however, as it became clear it would miss its target.
OLED panels, while used in smartphones and tablets by
Samsung Electronics Co Ltd, are still considered
prohibitively expensive for larger sizes used in televisions.
They have not delivered the growth originally envisioned by
the Japanese companies and are unlikely to be commercially
viable in the near future, the spokesmen said.
Both companies displayed 56-inch OLED televisions at this
year's CES electronics show in January. The spokesmen said they
would continue independent efforts to develop OLED technology.
LG Electronics Inc, considered the front-runner
in OLED televisions, has models on the market but they are
significantly more expensive than comparable LCD televisions and
have yet to achieve significant sales. Samsung also markets OLED
televisions, which offer higher resolution and use less power
than LCD panels.
(Reporting by Reiji Murai; Writing by Edmund Klamann; Editing
by Robert Birsel)