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IFA 2017 | Sharp announces return to European smartphone market

Sharp announces return to European smartphone market
Sharp announces return to European smartphone market (Source: Sharp)
CEO J.W. Tai exclaims "Sharp is back" during a press conference at his company's booth. The new collaboration between Sharp, Foxconn, and UMC will ensure improved economies of scale for Sharp to expand outside of its home market in Asia.

Japanese manufacturer Sharp took time at IFA this year to confirm rumors of a partnership with both Foxconn and United Microelectronics Corporation (UMC) in order to begin selling smartphones aimed at the European market. According to Sharp President and CEO J.W Tai, the company's decades of experience working with key smartphone components will give Sharp the edge it needs in the highly competitive European market. The first anticipated smartphone will not be publicly unveiled until next February at MWC 2018 in Barcelona.

Sharp has always been a major player and supplier in the smartphone world even if its phones have had limited success outside of Asia. The company is responsible for producing its signature lineup of IGZO display panels found on flagship consumer notebooks like the Dell XPS series and the Razer Blade series. Many of its Aquos smartphones for the Asian market are also equipped with IGZO panels and in-house camera modules. In the US, Sharp is more well-known for its monitors and televisions as the original Aquos Crystal smartphone launched in North America to little fanfare back in 2014.

Sharp recently introduced the FS8016 and FS8010 smartphones in China alongside the previously announced Aquos S2 and Corner R. The Aquos series is notable for its nearly bezel-free design and it is likely that the upcoming European model will continue the tradition.


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Allen Ngo, 2017-09- 2 (Update: 2017-09- 2)