Sony and Panasonic are rumored to be in talks on teaming up to produce OLED panels for HDTVs, the Wall Street Journal revealed on Tuesday. This will help the two companies share the hefty production costs related to the manufacturing of the advanced panels. The negotiations are still in the early stage, the unnamed sources said, and may end up falling apart altogether or see other potential partners jump onboard the partnership.
The talks are no doubt spurred by a weak sales year, with record losses not just for these two players but other Asian electronics makers. Japanese companies in particular were hit hardest due to the strong value of the yen compared to other values and the floods that shut down many companies.
OLED technology allows for making HDTVs that are more energy efficient and thinner than current LED or Plasma offerings thanks to the lack of a backlight. It will also allow for the creation of curved or flexible panels as well. Part of the reason costs are so expensive is that the production yield of OLED is still very low, though mass manufacturing and refining the process is likely to address this.
Sony has been rumored to be looking to other partners or suppliers for OLED sets in recent months, including Samsung and AU Optronics.