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Sharp TVs have been popular for a long time, but you might have noticed they’re harder to find lately. That’s because they’re no longer made by Sharp.
Currently, Sharp TVs are manufactured by Hisense. The actual Sharp brand is owned by Foxconn. This company is responsible for developing Sharp TVs, but they’re still made by Hisense.
Sharp has gone by many names before Hisense; let us dive a little deeper into the history of how Sharp TVs started and how they went from Foxconn to Hisense and back to Sharp Corporation in just a few short years.
The Birth Of Sharp Manufacturing TVs
Sharp Corporation dates all the way back to the year 1912 in Japan by founder Tokuji Hayakawa whose intention was to make products that others would want to imitate.
While Sharp TVs didn’t come into existence for some time, the company became well known for inventions such as:
- Snap belt buckle
- Mechanical pencils
- Crystal radio
- Sharp Dyne AC Vacuum-Tube Radio
Sharp created the prototype for their first TV in 1951 and quickly began its mass production to Japanese consumers in 1952 when research made ultra-short wave technology possible. By 1953, Sharp was about 60% of Japan’s industry by becoming the first company in Japan ever to sell TVs.
This television went by the name TV3-14T and was pretty expensive for people making a yearly salary more than three times less than the 175,000 yen Sharp’s TV cost.
Sharps founder, however, wanted his product to be affordable enough for every household and set out to manufacture a TV set that was of the same quality but within a price range, everyone could afford.
To ensure this goal was achieved, Sharp founder built a mass production facility equipped with a conveyor system that allowed for assembly, packing, and stocking televisions that would eventually be shipped to stores.
Sharp Comes To The USA Timeline
Until 1961, Sharp products were produced and sold in Japan; however, in 1962, Sharp Electronics Corporation was established in New York City and became the first overseas subsidiary for Sharp.
In 1979, Sharp decided to expand their manufacturing facilities in the United States by establishing the first overseas company in Memphis, Tennessee by the name Sharp Manufacturing Company of America that began to produce color televisions.
In 1987, Sharp introduced LCD color televisions with the leading pixels in the industry of 92,160. Shortly after, in 1988, Sharp developed the first 14-inch color LCD TV.
Between the years 1991-199,4, Sharp manufacturers, some of the industry’s leading TVs, with the introduction of wall-mounted LCD and a pixel resolution of about 437,760.
In 1995, Sharp established the Sharp Laboratories of America In. in Washington in order to link developments between the US, Japan, and the UK top researchers.
March of 1999, Sharp began the sale of the world’s first 20-inch LCD with a thickness of 4.95 cm and 43% use of power consumed compared to earlier models.
In 2001, Sharp released LCD television products under Sharp Aquos in 13, 15, and 20-inch screens that eventually became Sharps leading LCD product line that features Blu-ray integration.
In 2015, Sharp stated it will no longer be doing business with its North American market and will be selling its licensing brand to a company called Hisense in 2016. That same year Foxconn manufactured Sharp and thus began a lawsuit battle between Hisense and Foxconn to break the contract the two companies shared.
Sharp Changes Manufacturers
For Sharp, 2012 marked both their 100th year and a dramatic decrease in sales, leading to the sale of their shares to Taiwan-based electronic company Foxconn. This change in brands resulted in Sharp products being re-introduced into the North American market in 2015 with a five-year licensing deal to produce and sell Sharp TVs with the Chinese company Hisense.
Hisense built a plant in 2017 to begin assembling Sharp TVs in a facility in Mexico.
In 2016, Foxconn and Hisense began a long battle to gain rights to the Sharp name. Foxconn claimed Hisense was destroying the Sharp brand by manufacturing products below industry standards and misleading consumers with their advertising.
Sharps Current TV Product Line
Listed below are a few of Sharp’s current television product line-up,
- Sharp Aquos 70″ Class (69.5″ diag.) LED 4K Smart Android TV with HDR10
- Sharp Aquos Lc-32da5u 32-inch Hd-ready Flat-panel LCD TV
- Sharp AQUOS LC 43N7000U – 43″ LED Smart TV – 2160p – 60 Hz
Sharps plans for its 2022 product line-up will include models including ROKU, HD, and 4K UHD.
These ROKU TVswill offer consumers features such as,
- The Free Roku Mobile app
- Automatic software updates
- Three major voice ecosystems
- Access to The Roku Channel
- 80,000+ free movies and programs
Currently, rumors have stated that Sharp has reclaimed their manufacturing license back from Hisense, but that claim’s validation has yet to be established as fact. As of 2018, Sharp dropped its lawsuit against Hisense and retrieved its brand name to use for the sale of televisions in the US market.
Sharp states it is dedicated to bringing back products that consumers know and love with their motto that boasts of “Simply Better Living,” creating an experience for consumers that compliments their lifestyles.