The three Japanese companies have announced that they had joined forces to produce small and medium-sized displays, found in computers and mobile devices. The new alliance will have the name Japan Display and will be a joint venture. Still, the three electronics giants will join with Network Corporation of Japan, a government-backed entity. The remaining 30% stake will be split evenly among the three firms.
Hitachi, Sony and Toshiba want to consolidate the various production lines which will allow them to become more efficient and competitive using economies of scale as they invest in the next generation of mobile device displays. Japanese manufacturers have faced stiff competition from Korean manufacturers LG and Samsung, as well as Taiwan firms AU Optronics and Chi Mei. Sony recently sold its stake in a joint LCD production venture with Samsung that also produced mobile displays.
The new alliance will also enjoy support from Panasonic which will be supplying a facility to give the new venture a production base. Pending approval by the Japanese government, it is hoped that Japan Display will begin production in 2012.
One technology expected to be in production are Low Temperature Polycrystaline Silicon LCDs (LTPSLCDs). These displays would be faster, have higher pixel density, and consumer less energy than current LCD displays. Rumors have pegged Apple as being interested in LTPS LCDs, and with Apple’s current legal disputes with Samsung they may be looking for other potential partners.