Sharp says that gadget lovers in the West can expect to see the power efficiency benefits of its advanced IZGO displays in competitors’ smartphones and tablets from the second quarter of 2013.

In an interview with Bloomberg, a company executive gave a rough timeline for the launch of devices — which predicts that they will hit the Japanese market a month prior — despite that, as recently as September, the company revealed it was experiencing trouble finding customers for the advanced displays.

From the Bloomberg article:

“A domestic company will probably offer products using IGZO display panels from the first quarter of the calendar year. As for foreign brands, you will probably see such products in the second quarter.”

Sharp has talked about its IZGO (Indium gallium zinc oxide) displays for some time, and improved power consumption is one key benefit – the company claims the screens are three times as efficient as others. Energy savings aside, it says that the technology allows screens to offer higher pixel densities and better signal-to-noise ratio for touch input.

The struggling Japanese firm has already used the technology in its own devices, the 4.9-inch Sharp Aquos Phone Zeta SH-02E being the first, but its move to allow competitors to work with the technology could be a money spinner.

Despite the hype, there is little difference on the surface. The Verge went hands-on with the SH-02E and commented that there “wasn’t anything special” about the display. However, the key advancements lie within the power efficiency and consumption – that’s not so sexy, but nonetheless a very important issue for smartphone owners.

Apple reportedly passed on the opportunity to fit the screens into the third-generation iPad, since the tech was still being readied, so it will be interesting to see which device makers, smartphones and tablets are first to market with it.

Sharp will hope that the technology can help it start a financial turnaround. In a real sign of the company’s struggles, it recently sanctioned 3,000 early retirements, despite initially only aiming to let 2,000 employees go.

Headline image via Wikipedia