Japan’s Sharp Says Qualcomm Investment Delayed

Cash-strapped Japanese electronics giant Sharp said Monday that a badly needed capital injection from US chipmaker Qualcomm had been delayed as the two sides hammer out details of the pact.

Sharp in December announced it had struck a $120 million deal with Qualcomm as it moves to repair its tattered balance sheet with the agreement calling for joint development of liquid crystal display (LCD) screens for smartphones.

The US firm has paid about half of the investment, giving it a 2.64 percent stake in Sharp, with the second payment which should be around $60 million scheduled for March 29.

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Japan’s Sharp Denies Talks with Intel

Japan’s Sharp Corp has denied a Japanese newspaper report it is in talks with U.S. chipmaker Intel Corp on a capital alliance that would offer a possible lifeline to the troubled TV maker as discussions with Taiwan’s Hon Hai Precision Industry Co stall.

Sharp spokeswoman Miyuki Nakayama denied the report in Japan’s Mainichi newspaper, which reported on Friday without citing sources that the companies were in talks for Intel to invest more than 30 billion yen (236 million pounds) in Sharp, potentially making it Sharp’s top shareholder.

An Intel spokesman declined to comment.

The paper said the two could reach a deal as early as next month, although Sharp will also continue its capital tie-up discussions with Hon Hai, it added.

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Japan’s Sharp Introduces Talking Robot Vacuum Cleaner – The Cocorobo

Japanese electronics giant Sharp said Tuesday it had created a robot vacuum cleaner capable of recognising and responding to simple voice commands in several languages.

The Cocorobo understands dozens of phrases such as “good morning”, “clean the room” and responds differently “depending on the cleaning situation”, Sharp said in a statement.

It will also update owners on the battery level, when the dust collector needs emptying and such and even has a camera to take snaps of areas that need cleaning.

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New $1.2 billion Sharp LCD factory may focus mostly on iPhone

Sharp is spending the equivalent of $1.2 billion on an LCD factory that will primarily serve Apple, reports from Japan’s Nikkei maintained on Thursday. Similar to a Toshiba plant mentioned by the same business paper, the Sharp plant would focus on small and mid-size LCDs but focus primarily on serving the iPhone. Apple would even take on most of the cost of establishing the factory, the paper claimed.

The plant would begin construction next year in Mie Prefecture and would be in full production by the second half of 2012.

Sharp isn’t believed to be a stranger to supplying Apple with displays and has supplied the LCD for the iPod touch. Sharp has also served its own ends and uses a 3.5-inch, 640×960 display in its own smartphones. The soon-to-ship Meizu M9 is thought to use the exact same Sharp screen.

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Sharp debuts iPad Self-Ordering System at Izakaya

With this system, the pictures shown on the iPad can be exactly the same as those on the conventional menu. The system makes intuitive use of the iPad’s user interface; for example, pictures can also be enlarged by pinching.

“Here, we’re using the iPad, but Sharp also plans to release an e-book reader. If people’s reaction to the iPad system is good, we’ll commercialize it. Meanwhile, we’re thinking of selling a system with the same application on the Sharp e-book reader.”

via iPad Self-Ordering System for Japanese Izakaya.

Japense Companies Team-Up on Future of Cell-phones

Four leading Japanese electronics makers said Monday they will team up with top network operator NTT DoCoMo to develop the operating system for its next-generation cellphones, due for launch next year.

Sharp, Panasonic, NEC and Fujitsu will work together with NTT DoCoMo and Japanese chip maker Renesas Technology to develop a platform compatible with systems such as Linux and Symbian.

The new platform will offer improved processing speeds for high quality video as well as enhanced 3D graphics processing for more advanced mobile multimedia functions, DoCoMo said in a statement.

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Dell files suit against Sharp, Hitachi, and Toshiba for LCD price fixing

Dell, the world’s No. 3 computer maker, has filed a lawsuit against Sharp, Hitachi, Toshiba, Seiko Epson of Japan, and HannStar of Taiwan for the price fixing of LCD displays.

Last week, Dell filed the suit at a U.S. district court in San Francisco.

Dell has not decided the level of damages it will seek in the lawsuit, according to a spokesman.

This isn’t Sharp or Hitachi’s first go-around with LCD cartel charges. In November of 2008, LG, Sharp and Chunghwa pleaded guilty for an LCD display price-fixing conspiracy.

In March 2009, Hitachi agreed to plead guilty for similar charges.