In case you missed it, part of the news about Pioneer's radical restructuring includes this shocker: The Kings of Plasma are about to start making Pioneer-branded and (maybe even) Kuro-branded LCD displays using Sharp's panels. Boom!
They'll also do Blu-ray players together, and Japan Sharp Cellphones will work with Pioneer's in-car nav systems. The first fruits of such collabs will be seen in CEATEC 2008 in Spring.
Progress on Business Alliance with Sharp Corporation
As part of a comprehensive business and capital alliance formed by Pioneer and Sharp Corporation in 2007, the two companies are conducting joint product development by making effective use of each other's resources in their respective fields of expertise. The overriding goal is to enhance the corporate value of both companies.
In the field of flat-panel TVs, for example, Pioneer is taking part in Sharp's development of acoustic systems for ultra-thin, flat-panel TVs. By leveraging its acoustic technologies built up over many years, Pioneer aims to develop acoustic systems employing ultra-thin speakers that still achieve outstanding sound quality for supply to Sharp. Furthermore, Pioneer will be supplied by Sharp with LCD TVs based on its superior technologies. We will launch these LCD TVs first in Europe this fall and steadily expand our lineup of LCD TVs. Plans also call for engineers from Pioneer and Sharp to team up to develop LCD TVs that carry on the legacy of the Pioneer "KURO" series in terms of high picture and sound quality.
This project will give Pioneer access to Sharp's extensive expertise in LCD TVs, while promoting joint development of digital tuners, platforms and technologies for realizing high picture quality. The goal is to develop value-added products and raise the efficiency of development activities at both companies.
In the optical disc field, Pioneer and Sharp have agreed to join forces to expand their respective Blu-ray Disc-related product businesses. This step takes the alliance beyond merely supplying existing products such as DVD players and DVD recorders to each other. Joint development of pickups and drives for Blu-ray Disc players/recorders, will bolster the two companies' vertically integrated business models spanning devices to end products. Cost reductions resulting from more efficient development and volume growth will in turn contribute to business expansion. Here too, Pioneer and Sharp are resolved to build even stronger ties by efficiently conducting joint development.
In car electronics fields, Pioneer and Sharp plan to jointly develop products based on Sharp's "only one device" concept. The two companies will make a point of enhancing device operability to propose new kinds of automotive passenger cabin environments. We also plan to propose new forms of value by linking Sharp's AQUOS™ mobile phone concept with our car navigation system technologies. We want to use these joint development projects to drive further business expansion at both companies in the car electronics field.
The concrete achievements of these initiatives will be showcased at CEATEC JAPAN 2008 this fall and at various product presentations.