Japan's top electronics companies Toshiba, Hitachi and Sony said Wednesday they will merge their production facilities for small and mid-sized LCDs with the support of the Japanese government. The new company, to be called Japan Display, will start operations next spring.
Small and mid-sized LCD panels are in high demand for smartphones and tablet PCs. After being defeated by Korean manufacturers in the market for large LCD panels for TVs, Japanese companies have apparently decided to focus on smaller panels, where they have superior technology and which deliver higher returns.
The merger took place with the support of the state-affiliated Innovation Network Corporation of Japan, which invested around 200 billion yen in the new venture. It will be used to develop new products. The corporation will hold a 70-percent stake in the new venture, while the three electronics companies will own 10 percent each.
Japan Display will focus on the development and production of AMOLEDs or active matrix organic light-emitting diodes, which contain fewer parts and use less electricity while delivering clearer images. Samsung Mobile Display is the world's No. 1 AMOLED manufacturer accounting for 99 percent of the global market.