Sharp's New Focus

How an also-ran made a bet on flat-panel televisions as the critical path to being a major player in electronics

Hiroshi Take, one of the managers of Sharp Corp.'s latest and most advanced television factory, beams like a proud father. The gleaming white $1.4 billion Kameyama factory, 260 miles southwest of Tokyo, came online last year and is cranking out thousands of Sharp's hot-selling large-screen flat-panel Aquos TVs per month. Flat TVs are going to be critical in the battle for market share among electronics companies this Christmas season, and Sharp is exceptionally well armed.

As a belt carrying newly assembled TVs to their final quality checks churns behind him, Take emphasizes that Aquos is not just Sharp's latest hit product....

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