In an effort to regrow their own TV efforts and combat growing competition from South Korean firms like Samsung, Sony and Panasonic are in talks to mass produce the next generation of OLED TVs.
The two firms plan to share their existing technologies to provide a more unified front against encroaching products from overseas. Sony has made it clear that under the new leadership of Kazuo Hirai it will be focusing on revamping its Bravia brand, but will be cutting back on production. Perhaps Panasonic will handle that arm of the partnership?
Over the past few years the Japanese electronics business has been assailed on all sides by foreign competitors. South Korea has its own mainstream manufacturing efforts, while China has been covering the low end of production. The next round of display technologies could be won by whoever can mass produce OLEDs at an affordable price.
"Their (Sony and Panasonic)'s overseas competitors have gotten a head start in this area and I feel like they're stepping into this too late," said Masayuki Otani, chief market analyst at Securities Japan. "There's no question OLED TVs are going to be the mainstream. The issue is price and size of the displays."
It's thought that despite Sony being the first to market with OLED technology in 2007, it wouldn't be able to dominate as it once did on its own. Partnered with Panasonic, perhaps with the two companies sharing their stocks of OLEDs, or indeed just the technology behind them, we could see both companies do far better together than they could ever do individually.