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View Full Version : Sanyo Bails Out on OLED Joint-Venture with Eastman Kodak

Jason Dunn
02-28-2006, 08:00 PM
<div class='os_post_top_link'><a href='http://www.teardown.com/tas/subscribers/comp_alert/2006_1Q/comp_alert_060227.aspx#CA060227-04' target='_blank'>http://www.teardown.com/tas/subscribers/comp_alert/2006_1Q/comp_alert_060227.aspx#CA060227-04</a><br /><br /></div><i>"Sanyo Electric of Japan has announced that the company would liquidate its OEL (Organic Electroluminescent) LCD joint venture with Eastman Kodak. The Japanese electronics maker tied up with Kodak in 1999 and launched the joint venture, SK Display in an attempt to commercialize OEL displays. However, its OEL sales for the year ending March 2005 was close to zero. Sanyo Electric decided that continuous development of OEL is not appropriate as there is no way that OEL can compete against LCDs. Sanyo will shift its operating resources to its core business area. Kodak will continue its work on OEL and licensing, which means that the company will seek ways to commercialize active matrix OEL panels through collaboration with other companies while continuing development of materials and its OEL licensing business."</i><br /><br /><a href="http://www.pocketpcthoughts.com/images/web/2003/old-vs-lcd-big.JPG"><img src="http://www.pocketpcthoughts.com/images/web/2003/old-vs-lcd-small.jpg" alt="User submitted image" title="User submitted image"/></a><br /><span><i>[click image for larger version]</i></span><br /><br />The news item goes on to state that this may be a good thing after all - Sanyo wasn't able to dedicate much effort to OLED development due to their overall financial difficulties, and the hope is that Kodak can find a better partner, one willing to aggressively developer OLED to fruition. I sincerely hope that's the case, because OLED screens are utterly stunning in person. A quality OLED screen is like looking at a photograph rather than a computer monitor. <br /><br />I saw an interesting comparison at CES 2006 in the Samsung showroom - the photo above shows the same image displayed on OLED and LCD screens. Look at the <a href="http://www.pocketpcthoughts.com/images/web/2003/old-vs-lcd-big.JPG">full-sized version</a> and you can see how the LCD screen shows vertical and horizontal striping, while the OLED screen only shows the image. And, trust me, this photo doesn't adequately do OLED justice. OLED screens were supposed to be "everywhere" by now if you believed the media in 2004, yet it's rare to find a device with an OLED screen. OLED screens in Pocket PCs, Smartphones, and portable media devices would enable a huge jump in visual quality - let's hope somebody steps up and partners with Kodak to give OLED the push it needs.<br /><br /><b>UPDATE:</b> Looks like Kodak has already created a <a href="http://www.democratandchronicle.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20060216/BUSINESS/602160352/1001">new partnership with LG</a>. Well that didn't take long!

Kris Kumar
03-01-2006, 03:19 AM
Are the OLEDs really really expensive? Maybe that is why manufacturers are slow in adopting them.

Also, the higher resolution seems to do the trick for me. I mean the QVGA resolution on the new Smartphones seem so much better than the old ones. It's a giant leap.

Kris Kumar
03-01-2006, 03:22 AM
UPDATE: Looks like Kodak has already created a new partnership with LG (http://www.democratandchronicle.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20060216/BUSINESS/602160352/1001). Well that didn't take long!

Aha! News from good old Rochester. :-)

Mike Temporale
03-01-2006, 05:37 AM
Wow! That's a significant difference between those pictures. I didn't realize that OLED offered such a visual improvement. I thought all the advantages were in the energy consumption and thickness of the screens. Very cool. :)