• Kyodo

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Sharp Corp. said Tuesday it is aiming to win back its market share in the mobile phone business with next-generation liquid crystal display panels featuring clear images and low energy use.

Among seven models of mobile devices that the Osaka-based company plans to launch from this winter to spring, one smartphone and a tablet computer will be equipped with its Igzo power-saving panels with enhanced picture quality.

The maker of the Aquos Phone once led the Japanese mobile phone market by shipping the largest number of the product for six straight years through the 2011 business year. In the last business year, however, it fell to third place with a share of 16.8 percent, the firm said.

“We’d like to enhance our product strength and restore our share within fiscal 2012” through March, Executive Officer Masami Obatake said at a news conference in Tokyo. But he declined to present a specific figure.

“In the future, we’d like to further expand the lineup of smartphone and tablet computer models with Igzo panels,” Obatake said.

Sharp is currently the only company in the world that can mass-produce the panels using a semiconductor material, indium gallium zinc oxide, and the panels are expected to be a key product for turning its flagging business around.

The panels are capable of displaying images about two times finer than conventional LCDs using amorphous silicon, Sharp said, adding they are also more sensitive to touch controls compared with conventional panels.

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