Panasonic and Sony Joint Venture on OLED TV

Japanese electronics makers have joined hands to take on their Korean rivals in the next-generation TV market. Competition will get tougher between the two dominant forces in the global market that is worth over W140 trillion a year (US$1=1,159).

The Nippon Keizai Shimbun reported on Tuesday that Sony and Panasonic, Nos. 3 and 4 in the world TV market, began talks to jointly develop organic light-emitting diode (OLED) TVs. The partnership between the two traditionally staunch rivals in the Japanese market is aimed at catching up with Samsung and LG, the daily analyzed. Featuring a much sharper and brighter display, OLED TVs are expected to replace LCD and LED flat screens within a couple of years.

The two Japanese firms are reportedly in talks to mass-produce large OLED TVs at the earliest time through the tie-up. They want to regain their market dominance in the OLED TV sector after having lost ground to Korean companies in the LCD TV sector.

Meanwhile, Samsung Electronics recently unveiled the production model of a 55-inch OLED TV. It said it hopes to be mass-producing a line-up of OLED TVs this year. The new products come with various up-to-date features including a “smart dual view” function that allows viewers to watch two channels simultaneously on a single TV set.

LG Electronics also hopes to have the upper hand in the market with its 55-inch 3D OLED TV, which met with a good response at the Consumer Electronics Show in the U.S. early this year.

Samsung topped the global TV market last year with a 23.6 percent share, followed by LG with 14.1 percent. Sony trailed with 10.3 percent, Panasonic had 7.7 percent and Sharp 6.7 percent. The global OLED TV market is expected to be worth US$7.1 billion in 2015.