Sharp withdraws from the LCD TV market, the future of its display business is unclear

Japan-based Sharp Corp, an LCD display industry pioneer, announced that it will stop all of its large-area LCD production by the end of 2024. Sharp's Osaka-based factory was the last LCD TV fab in Japan, and it will be turned into a data center run by its subsidiary Sakai Display Products Corp.

Sharp says that its current midterm plans are strengthen its home appliances and office equipment businesses, by incorporating AI technologies. It also plans to sell its semiconductor business. Sharp says it will focus its remaining small/medium LCD display business on the automotive and VR sectors.


Sharp did not detail anything regarding its OLED operations. Sharp started producing flexible OLEDs for its own devices in low volume in August 2018, but then ceased production in 2019. The company came back to producing OLED in 2021. Sharp produced high-end AMOLED panel, on IGZO backplane, but the company never managed to achieve mass volume production. It is not clear what is the future of Sharp's OLED business.

In addition to its LCD and OLED technologies, Sharp is developing QD-EL (emissive quantum dots) displays, and has demonstrated impressive prototypes in early 2024. In SID Displayweek 2024 the company also displayed new QD-EL displays (in a private setting). This is early-stage technology, though, and it will remain to be seen whether Sharp will continue this research.

In 2020, Sharp started a microLED development project, focusing on small wearable displays in addition to microdisplays for AR and VR applications. We do not know if this project is still on track, or what will be its fate now.

Posted: May 18,2024 by Ron Mertens