TOKYO — A third to half of the Sony Corp. TV sets sold annually will be packed with 3-D features by the year ending March 2013, a senior executive said Thursday.
But Sony executive deputy president Hiroshi Yoshioka acknowledged that what Sony may really need for its money-losing TV business is its own display technology and the ability to make its own TV displays.
Sony has fallen behind in flat-panel TV technology to rivals like Samsung Electronics Co. of South Korea.
Yoshioka acknowledged that having to buy panels from Samsung was one reason why his Tokyo-based company lags in flat-panel TVs that use a new kind of backlight called LED — an innovation that can produce super-slim TVs and clearer images.
Yoshioka hinted that Sony was planning an upgrade of a different kind of technology called organic light-emitting diodes, or OLEDs, which generate light on the display's surface and don't have to be illuminated from behind.
Sony already sells an 11-inch OLED TV, but has run into technical issues trying to make bigger sizes.
For the short term, Sony has been bullish about 3-D TVs, one area where rivals are also just getting started, and Sony is promising products next year.
With 3-D TVs, images appear to have depth and give an illusion of almost jutting out from the screen, although they require special glasses.
Yoshioka said 3-D TVs are especially fun for playing games, where Sony has an edge because of its PlayStation business. Sony also has a movie division, and some 3-D theater releases have proved popular.