Sharp to strip name from flagship LCD factory as Foxconn parent moves in

Sharp's Sakai facilities in central Japan are its technical pride and joy, but deep losses forced it to seek investors

Japan's Sharp said Thursday it will remove its name from a key LCD factory, as part of the completion of a major cash infusion from Foxconn Electronics' parent company, a symbolic move that reflects the shifting landscape of the electronics industry.

The company said it will next week rename subsidiary Sharp Display Products, which runs one of the world's most advanced LCD manufacturing plants, to Sakai Display Products, after the city in central Japan where it is located. The name change is part of a deal finalized today, in which Hon Hai Precision Industry acquires nearly half of the factory and a stake of almost 10 percent in Sharp. The deal was first announced in March.

The seemingly minor name change was once unthinkable for a proud Japanese manufacturer like Sharp, which has long trumpeted the facility as its flagship factory. But Sharp has struggled to boost profits as TV prices fall, while Hon Hai has become the world's largest electronics manufacturer, with clients that include Apple, Hewlett-Packard, Sony and Nintendo.

Sharp's decision to partner with Taiwan-based Hon Hai has been viewed within the country as a sign of the fading power of Japan's manufacturers. The Nikkei, Japan's main business newspaper, ran a story last month describing Sharp as "trembling" under the pressure applied by Hon Hai.

Sharp had long courted domestic rival Sony as a partner in the factory, but Sony is jettisoning manufacturing plants as it battles deep losses, especially in TVs. The companies said in May that Sony would sell its 7 percent stake in Sharp Display Products, receiving back the original 10 billion yen (US$130 million) investment it first made in 2009.

The Sakai plant currently makes massive panels best suited for large-screen TVs, though Sharp has said it will try to focus more on panels for smaller devices like phones and tablets.

Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Struggling for Christmas presents this year? Check out our Christmas Gift Guide for some top tech suggestions and more.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Jay Alabaster

IDG News Service

Most Popular Reviews

Follow Us

Best Deals on GoodGearGuide

Shopping.com

Latest News Articles

Resources

GGG Evaluation Team

Kathy Cassidy

STYLISTIC Q702

First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.

Anthony Grifoni

STYLISTIC Q572

For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.

Steph Mundell

LIFEBOOK UH574

The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.

Andrew Mitsi

STYLISTIC Q702

The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.

Simon Harriott

STYLISTIC Q702

My first impression after unboxing the Q702 is that it is a nice looking unit. Styling is somewhat minimalist but very effective. The tablet part, once detached, has a nice weight, and no buttons or switches are located in awkward or intrusive positions.

Latest Jobs

Shopping.com

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?