Sharp Aims To Expand Mobile Business With LCD Panels

Struggling Japanese electronics maker Sharp Corp. said Tuesday it aims to win back its market share in the mobile phone business with its next-generation liquid crystal display panels featuring clear picture images and low energy consumption.

TOKYO, Oct. 23 (Kyodo) — Struggling Japanese electronics maker Sharp Corp. said Tuesday it aims to win back its market share in the mobile phone business with its next-generation liquid crystal display panels featuring clear picture images and low energy consumption.

Among seven models of mobile devices which the Osaka-based company plans to launch from this winter to spring, one smartphone model and a tablet computer will be equipped with its "Igzo" power-saving panels with enhanced picture quality.

The manufacturer of Aquos Phone once led the Japanese mobile phone market by shipping the largest number of the product for six straight years through the business year ended March last year. In the last business year, however, it fell to third place with a share of 16.8 percent, according to the company.

"We'd like to enhance our product strength and restore our share within fiscal 2012" through March, Executive Officer Masami Obatake said at a news conference in Tokyo. But he declined to present a specific figure.

"In the future, we'd like to further expand the lineup of smartphone and tablet computer models with Igzo panels," Obatake said.

Sharp is currently the only company in the world that can mass-produce the panels using a semiconductor material, indium gallium zinc oxide, and the panels are expected to be a key product for turning its flagging business around.

The panels are capable of displaying images about two times finer than conventional LCDs using amorphous silicon, Sharp said, adding they are also more sensitive to touch controls compared to conventional panels.

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