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Friday, March 07, 2008

Sources: Samsung, Sony invest big on LCDs, Pioneer exits plasma

Slashdot It! Samsung Electronics and Sony are likely to invest about $1.9 billion jointly in a new flat-screen production line, a source at Samsung. The comment is the latest in a series of announcements from panel makers and sellers, underlining the robust outlook for liquid crystal displays (LCDs) as demand for sleek, stylish and increasingly inexpensive television sets rises. Last week, Japan's Sony said it would take a one-third stake in Sharp's planned $3.5 billion LCD plant. The following day, a source at Sony's South Korean LCD partner, Samsung, said the two firms were in the final stages of talks to jointly build a new LCD production line, soothing concerns that their alliance was in jeopardy. "Negotiations are in the final stage and will be wrapped up soon," the Samsung source, who declined to be identified because he was not authorized to speak to the media, said Tuesday. "The investment size will be about that much," the source said, when asked about an earlier Nikkei business daily report saying the two were set to invest about 200 billion yen ($1.9 billion). Sony is diversifying its panel suppliers in a bid to surpass Samsung, the world's top maker of LCD TVs in 2007. The Samsung source declined to give an estimated timing of production and the output size. "It shouldn't be too late, but first, we'll have to see the market conditions." Sharp and Sony's planned new LCD plant will start operation in 2010. Shares in Sony rose 1 percent to 4,820 yen in Tokyo, in line with the Nikkei 225 index's .N225 0.7 percent gain. Samsung rose 2 percent to 560,000 won in Seoul, beating the KOSPI's 0.5 percent advance. LCD makers' ambitious plans contrast with the latest news from makers of plasma panels, a rival technology that dominated the flat-screen TV market only two years ago. Japan's Pioneer plans to stop all production of plasma display panels, an industry source said Tuesday, adding that it is likely to buy panels from Matsushita Electric Industrial. Via Cnet Get Daily Updates via Email Protect your computer with Windows Onecare Get paid $7.50 for reviewing my post Ad Space

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