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Sharp Corporation (シャープ株式会社 Shāpu Kabushiki-gaisha?) (TYO: 6753, Pink Sheets: SHCAY) is a Japanese multinational corporation that designs and manufactures electronic products. Headquartered in Abeno-ku, Osaka, Japan, Sharp employs more than 64,500 people worldwide as of September 30, 2010. The company was 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 greater public awareness in the United Kingdom when it sponsored Manchester United F.C. from 1982 to 2000, which was a period of great success for the club.
Sharp 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".[1]

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.[2] After the pencil business was destroyed by the 1923 Great Kantō earthquake, the company relocated to Osaka and began designing the first generation of Japanese radio sets. These went on sale in 1925. In 1953 Sharp started producing television sets.
In 1964 Sharp developed the world's first transistor calculator, which was priced at Yen 535,000 (US$1,400). It took Sharp several years to develop the product as they had no experience in making computing devices at the time. Two years later, in 1966 Sharp introduced its first IC calculator using 145 Mitsubishi-made bipolar ICs, priced at Yen 350,000 (about US$1000). Its first LSI calculator was introduced in 1969. This was the first pocketable calculator priced at less than Yen 100,000 (less than US$300), and turned out to be a bestseller.[3]
Other notable achievements include the first LCD calculator in 1973. LCD technology continues to be a key part of Sharp's product range, in both the component and consumer-appliance sides of the business.

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