Qualcomm inked a deal with Sharp earlier this week that says they’ll own as much as 5% of the company if the Japanese display maker can get back to good health. According to Retuers, Hon Hai, better known as Foxconn, is still interested in investing in Sharp, despite the fact that Foxconn signed a deal with the American chip designer. Terry Gou, Foxconn’s CEO, says he’s interested in a 9.9% stake in the company. He also says that he’ll come to a decision by March 2013. That’s about four months away, so who knows what sort of number crunching both parties are doing behind closed doors.
Why exactly would Foxconn want to do a deal with Sharp? Because they want there to be competition among display vendors to help lower component prices. That and they can go to a handset maker and tell them they have a good supply of LCD panels which are guaranteed to be available in adequate volumes.
Now everyone knows that Apple is one of Foxconn’s largest customers, but they also make pretty much everything for everyone. You might have heard of Motorola, Nokia, Sony, Amazon, Acer, Toshiba, and Nintendo. They all depend on Foxconn to get their products out the door. If Foxconn manages to make this deal go through, then we could actually see Sharp coming back from the dead and kicking everyone’s butt again when it comes to display technology.
What’s Sharp’s latest innovation? It’s called IGZO, which promises to make LCD panels that sip power. Think Super LCD type resolutions and viewing angles, combined with AMOLED’s power envelope. Note that the second generation Padfone uses and IGZO panel. When Engadget reviewed that phone, they said the screen was brighter and produced more accurate colors than the HTC One X.
That says a lot.