Samsung's Sharp equity deal reveals pressures as display unit lags
SEOUL (REUTERS) - For Samsung Electronics Co Ltd , the world's No. 1 maker of smartphones, TVs and memory chips, this week's deal to invest in a Japanese display maker spotlights an uncomfortable fact: it is no longer the undisputed global leader in displays.
Cross-town rival LG Display Co Ltd overtook Samsung's display unit last year as the world's top maker of liquid crystal displays.
LG Electronics Inc, an affiliate of the display company, has beat Samsung to market with a TV using a new technology - thin, bright organic light-emitting diode (OLED) screens - on which Samsung has staked its future in the display business.
And even Japan's Sharp Corp, which had to be bailed out by its banks last autumn and which Samsung has now taken on as a partner, has pulled into the lead in some of the latest LCD production and thin-screen technology.