Sumitomo Chemical Co. has developed a new technology which can reduce production costs of large-format OLED panels to a great extent. The company has developed a new chemical pigment material for manufacturing OLED panels that targets to cut the production cost to half of the current deposition method. The company plans to enter quantity production by 2019 and sell to panel manufacturers in and outside Japan, expecting reduction of prices for OLED TVs to expand the market. The current deposition method requires expensive equipment and lots of the chemical pigment materials are wasted. The light-emitting elements of red, green and blue are supplied by Idemitsu Kosan Co. of Japan, Merck from Germany, and so on. The new printing method can reduce production costs because it requires less manufacturing processes than the deposition method but has a drawback of difficulty of coating light-emitting pigment evenly on the panel plate, which becomes more difficult when the panel sizes get larger. The new pigment that Sumitomo Chemical has developed is expected to reduce colouring of the light-emitting pigments on to the panel. Sumitomo Chemical said it has developed new manufacturing equipment for the printing method. To develop the new pigments, the company has cooperated with foreign panel makers and JOLED, which was established by integrating the OLED business division of Sony and Panasonic in 2015. JOLED plans to develop 21.6-inch display for medical use by using the new OELD panel produced in the printing method and market this autumn.
Japanese MNC SHARP, recently launched a new smartphone AQUOS S2, which is currently available in the Chinese markets. It features a 5.5-inch, 100% bezel less display. SHARP AQUOS S2 with three bezels is currently the largest full screen smartphone. The company announced that it will continuously explore the field of 100% bezel less screen phone. SHARP aims at achieving technology breakthroughs in screen and anti-dropping technologies. The dimensions of AQUOS S2 are: 141.8 x 72 x 7.9 mm and it weighs 140 g (approximately). The smartphone is backed by a 3020mAh battery. It offers two variants - 4GB and 6GB RAM, providing internal memory of 64GB and 128GB respectively. The new AQUOS S2 is available in White, Black, Blue and Green colour variants. Sharing his thoughts at the launch, CEO of SHARP/InFocus Mobile- Dr. Luo Zhongsheng said, “The core of full screen design is to break through the technology limit, achieve the double sense of holding and visual comfort, and provide the ultimate experience for users.”
IDC Japan recently announced that in the first quarter, the sales of augmented reality and virtual reality headsets have increased by 70%. VR headset shipment rose 70% to 2.242 million units while AR devices gained 77% to 38,000 units. The market share of the companies are as follows: Samsung Electronics captured 22%, followed by Sony 19%, HTC from Taiwan 9%. While in the AR devices - Microsoft took 28%, Epson 19% and Intel 16%. In the Japanese market, Epson took 75% of total AR headset shipments and Sony 84% of VR devices' total units. IDC Japan forecasts that the sale of AR & VR headset in 2021 will grow 10x as compared to that in 2016, mainly due to rapid growth of VR terminals with reduced retail prices, focussed on consumer use. The company estimates that VR terminals will take up 73% of the VR and AR combined market. On the other hand, the IDC predicts that the AR sets will be used mainly by business sectors, such as the healthcare, manufacture and product design segments. The business-use AR devices took 68% of all AR shipments in 2016, which will be 83.3% in 2021. In the Japanese market, the combined shipments will be 1.05 million units in 2021 to grow nearly 9 times from about 120,000 units in 2016.