LAS VEGAS -- As traditional TV manufacturers seek ways to jettison their commodity flat-panel TV businesses, Sharp Corp. is doubling down on its bet to remain viable as a top supplier of bigger and better TVs.
Speaking here this week during the Consumer Electronics Show, an array of Sharp executives led by Toshi Osawa, chairman and CEO of its U.S. electronics marketing unit, announced that the Japanese company's future would rest squarely on TVs that are bigger and broader, with higher resolution and generally more expensive than ever before.
The foundation of Sharp's strategy, expressed by executive vice president Kozo Takahashi, lies in the transition of flat-panel TV from LCD to LED displays, with Sharp's emphasis on large screens and the expected proliferation of ultra-high definition TV (UHDTV) resolution. Intrinsic to success in this risky proposition is a new substrate for flat panels, developed jointly by Sharp and Corning Inc.
Sharp's IGZO technology (an acronym for its components: indium, gallium, zinc and oxygen) has already been deployed in Japan in smaller LCD devices, a Sharp Aquos ZETA smartphone and an Aquos tablet, Takahashi said.
According to James Clappin, president of display technologies at Corning, the combination of IGZO with Corning's patented Lotus glass, created an LED substrate with four times the resolution of full HD, "stunning color" and lower power consumption than current LED screens.
These technologies, said Jim Sanduski, Sharp's vice president of strategic marketing, empower its introduction of the industry's largest line -- 21 models -- of large-screen LED TVs ranging from 60 to 90 inches, with prices from $1,000 to $9,000.
Sharp shows off an array of new TVs at its CES press conference.
At the pinnacle of this product push -- and the biggest gamble -- stand two UHDTV models promised in 2013.