Originally Posted by unixguru
The D8000 coincidence is also irrelevant.
Please provide a link that says the 10g plant only does 60 & 70. The plant was designed to produce large
panels; the 80 is probably moving to 10g too.
I didn't invent the statement about Sharp 10g and the number of 65" panels - that came out of an article about the plant. Another article, that I posted the link for, also says"Sharp Executive Officer Taimi Oketani said the plant is best suited for TVs that are 60 inches or 65 inches"
Why would a Sharp Executive mention a size that they do not sell in ANY of their branded lines? Because they are making it for someone else!
The Sony factory that makes north america-bound high-end sets is in Mexico. They aren't shipping bare LCD from Japan to Mexico so Sony can integrate the diffuser/backlight. That would be dumb on a huge scale. The fact that the cut motherglass rolls from one part of the plant to another for adding the remaining layers really doesn't change anything.
So why does Sony have a 7% stake in the 10g plant??? It's for large panels. They sure aren't using it for edge lit.
See, you have so many things confused here, I don't know where to begin.
1) The article you linked to is before the plant was making any meaningful number of panels at all. No 57" panel has ever come out of the plant. So your conclusion that a mention of 65s proves the plant is used for 65s is easily counter-argued by the fact that the article mentions 57s, which have never been produced there. The article was speculative -- even by Sharp. Things changed. (The USA Today article linked actually makes no mention of the multiple sizes you reference, that must come from other articles, some probably written before Sakai even was opened. Further, although Sharp claims Sakai was running at 36,000 substrates per month when that article was written, that statement is totally inconsistent with numerous further claims of the state of Sakai. It's not clear it's even run at that level, but it certainly wasn't running at that level when the article was written. Sharp probably meant to state its current capacity at that point was 36000 substrates.)
2) Sony's stake in the plant has nothing to do with the kind of backlighting or edge-lighting they use. Nothing. The panels do not come lit. They come as panels. The LEDs are added in an entirely unrelated step. Sony certainly can buy 60" panels from Sharp and 100% of Sony 60" TVs are, in fact, edge lit. So, again, your conclusion is wrong.
3) It's possible
Sony is buying 65" panels from Sharp, it's just unlikely. The only practical way to cut 65" panels off that motherglass is to cut them 2 x 3 -- the same exact way Sharp cuts 70" panels
. So if Sony is buying 65" panels from Sharp, they are paying Sharp 70" prices to make 65" TVs. Not likely. Also, since Sony would be Sharp's lone 65" customer on earth
and buys very, very, very few 65" panels, the prices would be astronomical. Sharp would have to do entirely custom litho and cutting for Sony and Sony alone and they'd be buying up something on the order of well under 1% of the plant's capacity. This doesn't make any sense
. Now, it's Japan. Things that make no sense do happen, but this is not likely.
Samsung, however, does make 65" panels. They really make them in order to use them. Sony is still a huge customer of Samsung panels. Sony buying 65" panels from Samsung makes perfect sense, since Samsung (and LG) are the world's only confirmed current producers of any 65" LCD panels and both are selling on the commodity market.
4) The fact that Sony owns 7% of the plant is not relevant. It doesn't give them the right to vote 7% of the operations or to commit millions in capital to some tiny, wasteful, illogical production run of 65" panels. It doubtless does come with some supply guarantees and since the Sakai 10G plant does, in fact, primarily (perhaps exclusively at this point) make 60" and 70" panels and we know Sony is not buying or using 70" panels, we can assume Sony is buying Sharp 60" panels -- notably, non-Quattron, which makes the mystery that much greater.
Certainly, there was 40" glass coming out of Sakai initially, and perhaps Sony was buying a bunch of that too. But Sharp doesn't want to be making that glass -- for itself or anyone. And, again, Sony's 7% stake in the plant can't force them to make it.
5) They almost certain are, in fact, shipping bare LCDs to Mexico. The diffuser and backlight are not integrated at all. They are assembled in final assembly. (You should look at the dissection of a broken Samsung D8000 from last year to see how this works). What do you think is happening? You think they are shipping finished goods to Mexico and in Mexico someone slaps a box on it? I haven't seen the Mexico operation, but my guess is that it receives LCDs, filters, light modules, circuit boards, power supplies, enclosures, and slaps those all together. But even if the LCD comes from Japan with an integrated BLU, there is no reason whatsoever to believe that Sakai is somehow optimized around full-array backlit sets. In fact, well over 90% of Sakai's Sharp production was and is edge-lit sets. Last year, nearly every 60" Sharp was edge lit as was everything below 60". This year, nearly every 70" Sharp will be edge lit as well. Sharp sells almost exclusively edge-lit TVs and so even if BLU integration occurs there, it is in no way specialized for anything other than edge-lit sets. Again, it's really immaterial where the BLU mates with the LCD, but honestly I don't think they are actually even mated. It's more that the assembled TV holds the BLU in place. If you put the light bars and light guides in place and then ship a module off for final assembly elsewhere, you will get even worse results than if you have jigs and machines at final assembly that ensure everything is positioned right... But, again, it doesn't change anything with regard to the fact that if Sony is buying panels from Sharp, they are all mostly edge-lit anyway.
6) As for the Sharp executive, Sharp did and does make a ton of 60" panels for itself and for 3rd party contract panel sales. Sharp also was the first company to make a 65" panel and perhaps when Sakai was opening, they either (a) didn't want to let on that they were going to make 70s to avoid telegraphing their plans or (b) thought 65" was the best they'd be able to do and planned on having it make a comeback. Either way, there is no global market for 65" LCD panels right now, virtually no one sells any 65" LCD TVs
. So your belief that Sharp is making them is further challenged by the fact that if they were making them, there'd be many more 65" TVs on store shelves. Instead there are (a) virtually no models of 65" LCD TVs and (b) minimal unit sales of the few models that even exist.