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 ( ,  ) is a Japanesemarker electronics manufacturer, founded in September 1912.
It takes its name from one of its founder's first inventions, the Ever-Sharp mechanical pencil, which was invented by Tokuji Hayakawa (早川 徳次) in 1915. Since then it has developed into one of the leading electronics companies in the world. As a semiconductor maker, Sharp is among the Worldwide Top 20 Semiconductor Sales Leaders and among the Top 100 R&D Spenders in a list published by IEEE Spectrum magazine. It gained public awareness in the United Kingdommarker when it sponsored Manchester United F.C. from 1982 to 2000, which was a period of great success for the club.

They took a controlling stake in Pioneer Corporation in 2007. On 25 June 2009, they agreed to form a joint venture with Pioneer on their optical business to be called "Pioneer Digital Design and Manufacturing Corporation".

Origins

In 1912, Tokuji Hayakawa (早川 徳次) founded a metal workshop in Tokyo. The first of his many inventions was a snap buckle named 'Tokubijo'. Another of his major inventions was the Ever-Sharp mechanical pencil in 1915, from which the Sharp Corporation took its name. After the pencil, business was destroyed by the Great Kantō earthquakemarker in 1923, and so the company relocated to Osaka and started designing the first generation of Japanese radio sets. These went on sale in 1925. In 1953 Sharp started production of television sets. Other notable achievements include the world's first all-transistor desktop calculator in 1964 and the first LCD calculator in 1973. LCD technology continues to be a key part of Sharp's product range, in both the component and the consumer-appliance sides of the business.

Core technologies

Core technologies and products include: LCD panels, solar panel, mobile phones, audio-visual entertainment equipment, video projectors, Multi-Function Printing Devices, microwave ovens, cash registers, CMOS and CCD sensors, and flash memory.

The first commercial camera phone was also made by Sharp for the Japanese market in November 2000. Recent products include the ViewCam, the Ultra-Lite notebook PC, the Zaurus personal digital assistant, Sidekick 3, and the AQUOS flat screen television.

Products

Sharp manufactures a variety of consumer electronic products. These include LCD televisions, sold under the Aquos brand, mobile phones, microwave ovens, Home Cinema and audio systems, air purification systems, fax machines and calculators.

For the business market, Sharp also produces ranges of projectors and monitors and a variety of photocopiers and Laser Printers, in addition to electronic cash registers and Point of sale technologies.

Sharp is a pioneer and innovator in the field of multi-functional devices (MFD) having won many awards from BLI and BERTL - the two major authorities providing competitive intelligence and test reviews in the print industry. SHARP's latest products - MX2600N and MX3100N have once again broken new ground with the launch of version 3 Open System Architecture (OSA3). This feature enhances productivity further still by letting third party developers directly integrate their business applications with the MFD.

Sharp shared a close working relationship with Nintendo during the 1980s, and was granted licensing rights for the manufacture and development of the C1 NES TV (1983, later released in North America as the Sharp Nintendo Television), the Twin Famicom (1986), the Sharp Famicom Titler (1989), and the SF-1 SNES TV (1990). All of these units are considered collectors items on the secondary market.

Sharp Solar has for a number of years been a leading supplier of silicon photovoltaic (PV) solar cells. Now, it offers solar TV.

Sharp's Mobile Communications Division created the world's first commercial camera phone, in Japan in 1997, and continues to be a leading player in the Japanese mobile phone market, also maintaining a position as a niche supplier outside Japan. Currently (2008), Sharp is collaborating with Emblaze Mobile on the Monolith, "...an ambitious project to design the ultimate holistic mobile device".

Humanoid robot

In 2006 Sharp said it has developed a humanoid robot that clears dishes from the table and puts them into a dishwasher. The robot (measuring 95x50x45cm) opens the door of the dishwasher, takes hold of teacups, rice bowls and plates, places them in the unit and closes the door

Sales

Net sales for the year 2003/4 were $16.8 billion.The Corporation employs 46,600 staff, of which around half live outside Japan.It operates from 64 bases in 30 countries and its products are distributed in 164 countries worldwide. Many of its regional subsidiaries trade under the name "Sharp Electronics".

As a semiconductor maker, Sharp is among the Worldwide Top 20 Semiconductor Sales Leaders and among the Top 100 R&D Spenders in a list published by the IEEE Spectrum magazine.

Manchester United

Sharp was the principal sponsor of Manchester United Football Club from 1982 until 2000, in one of the lengthiest and most lucrative sponsorship deals in English football. Sharp's logo was on the front of United's shirts during these 17 years, during which the team won seven Premier League titles, five FA Cups, one Football League Cup, one European Cup Winners' Cup and one European Cup. As this period was something of a golden era for the club, with a (coincidental) decline in fortunes happening once Vodafone became the new shirt sponsors in 2000, some fans now term this period—particularly 1993–2000—as The Sharp Years.

Headquarters

Head Office in Osaka


Associated companies



See also



References

  1. For your home at Sharp Electronics (UK)
  2. Sharp - Business Products - Home Page
  3. Sony says develops cost-efficient solar cells | Industries | Consumer Goods & Retail | Reuters
  4. Daniel Glick, "Sharp's Solar Solutions", Newsweek, August 3, 2009, pp. 16–23 (special advertising section).
  5. Sharp Deutschland Solar - Photovoltaik und Solarmodule


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