DISPLAY MAKER Sharp has signed a deal worth around $105m with Samsung, and the smartphone maker will take a three percent stake in the firm while getting access to Sharp's LCD screens.
Sharp has been trying to drum up investment as it has recently seen weak demand for LCD screens. The firm announced today that it signed a deal with Samsung that will result in the consumer electronics giant taking a three percent stake in Sharp and getting long-term access to the firm's LCD panels after handing over $105m.
Sharp has already signed a deal with Qualcomm that should give the chip designer access to its IGZO display technology, however this deal with Samsung is slightly different.
Sharp said the deal will be to "build up mutual trust relationship" adding that it would "continuously provide a long-term, stable and timely supply of LCD panels for large-size TVs and small and medium-size LCD panels for mobile devices such as notebook computers."
While Samsung is tapping Sharp for its LCD screens, the firm is heavily investing in OLED technology for its smartphones and tablets and there was no mention of Sharp supplying LCD screens for such devices. Samsung's investment also opens up the possibility that its own display manufacturing plants could be geared towards producing higher demand screens used in high profile devices.
Samsung's three percent stake in Sharp may not sound like much but it puts the firm as the fifth largest shareholder and the largest non-Japanese investor, ahead of Qualcomm, which has a 2.5 percent stake in the company.
Sharp was reportedly talking with Foxconn about making an investment, but that deal looks far off now. µ