TOKYO Japan's Matsushita Electric Industrial Co
(6752.T) is finalizing plans to mass-produce 37-inch organic
light-emitting diode TVs in three years, aiming to overtake
rivals in the next-generation flat-TV race, the Sankei Shimbun
daily reported on Tuesday.
The newspaper said that Matsushita would be the first to
mass-produce OLED TVs of over 30 inches, and that the company
aimed to challenge Samsung Electronics (005930.KS) for the top
share in the global flat-TV market.
The paper also said Matsushita would likely start selling
the OLED TVs for around 150,000 yen ($1,390).
Matsushita spokesman Akira Kadota said the company was
considering the commercialization of OLED TVs in the future,
but it had not decided on any details including the launch
timing or size.
Unlike LCDs, OLED panels do not need backlighting, making
them slimmer and more energy efficient. But makers need to
clear hurdles such as cutting production costs and maximizing
screen size in order to begin mass-producing OLEDs.
Sony last November started selling the world's first OLED
TVs with an 11-inch screen.
Matsushita President Fumio Ohtsubo said in January it would
be a while before Matsushita could launch OLED TVs. Although
Matsushita was planning to launch large-sized OLED TVs, demand
for that type of OLED TV would probably not take off until
around 2015, he said.
The Sankei report said Matsushita would start a production
line exclusively for OLEDs at its new LCD panel factory that is
being built in Himeji, Hyogo Prefecture, in western Japan.
Matsushita, the world's No. 1 plasma TV maker, will also
set up an OLED production line at the IPS Alpha Technology
factory in Chiba Prefecture, the paper said. Matsushita owns a
30 percent stake in IPS Alpha, which makes large LCD panels.
Shares of Matsushita, which will change its name to
Panasonic Corp on October 1, shed 0.8 percent to 2,370 yen as
of 0027 GMT, while the broader Nikkei 225 index .N225
declined 0.3 percent.
(Reporting by Sachi Izumi and Mariko Katsumura; Editing by