Even More Flat-Panel TVs Go Sharp
In yet another move towards the total generic-ization of flat-screen TVs, LG said this week that it would buy 32-inch and 52-inch LCD panels from Sharp. Sony, Toshiba and Panasonic have all recently gotten on the Sharp LCD bandwagon as well. LG's largest rival Samsung's LCD TV sets still feature their own panels, though.
LG will continue to make its own LCD panels in certain sizes, but claims it's outsourcing some panel production to Sharp simply so it can reach its 2008 sales target of 14 million LCD TVs.
The LCD panel outsourcing trend will only continue to grow, according to panel analyst firm DisplaySearch. In the summer of 2007, 23% of all LCD TV panels produced were outsourced, according to the firm, and that number should grow to 35% by the same time this year.
Plasma panels are also moving in that direction. Pioneer recently announced its plans to transfer its plasma production to Panasonic.
For consumers, this means further proof that the branding on the box says nothing about the components inside. As more and more high-end name brand television-makers buy panels from cheaper manufacturers, buyers should trust their eyes and not the label when evaluating a TV purchase. -Rachel Rosmarin