Monday, August 20, 2012

Japanese companies have lost global hegemony of digital products

Walkman, CD, DVD, these terms for consumers, almost everyone knows; In fact, this thing also marked the Japanese electronics industry's dominant era a few years ago - only four years ago to rely on them Sony and other Japanese companies earned record profits of $ 6.4 billion. However, after four years, changing quietly, Apple, Samsung and other brand is strong momentum, the constant pressure on the Japanese digital electronic brand in the market space. Just a few years, Japanese brands transferred from profit to loss, and even former "CIA" had to jointly cope with the crisis.

The Wall Street Journal reported that the software and applications can not catch up with the opponent's, Japanese electronics companies are once again give up the technological innovation of this weapon, announced that it no longer served as the leader. The fact repeatedly stated, today's electronics industry, Japanese companies have been completely lost dominance.

Begin with the e-book
In 2004, a technology analyst Michael Gartenberg, a business trip in Japan, came across Sony's electronic reader the Librie. It is the first electronic ink display e-reader, this display has been widely used in the electronic reader.

Librie body is light, long battery life, left a deep impression to Gartenberg, he put this reader back to the United States, it considered the precursor of a new wave of electronic products.

However, the Librie also there are some problems, such as its software is Japanese, and download e-books have to use a computer, but it offers the choice of very few e-book can only rent a 60 days time.

Later, in 2007 Sony to stop selling the Librie in this year, Amazon raised by virtue of Kindle e-reader craze. Kindle has wireless Internet access, a large number of e-books to choose from, and the download service is also easy to use. Today, Sony is by virtue of its electronic reader Reader to catch up with competitors. According to the statistics of the International Data Corporation (IDC), Reader in the global market share ranked third, lagging far behind the top two, its global market share in 2011, only 5%.

(Sony) The first e-book reader explicitly to the future path of development as a technology industry research firm Gartner Research Director Gartenberg said, but now the market is not dominated by Sony and other companies from The benefits gained far more than it has been.

Crisis began 20 years ago.

Over the past 20 years, the electronics companies such stories continue to dominate the world in Japan has put on the body. During this period, Japanese companies have a breakthrough in terms of hardware than the competitors are from the flat-panel TV to high-end phones. However, in these two businesses, their overseas competitors by achieving a more rapid technological improvements, integrated products easy and intuitive software and online services, more ingenious cost-cutting and the introduction of more flexibility in marketing information made huge earn.

This is in sharp contrast with the late 1970s and early 1980s, when Japan began to monopolize the world consumer electronics market. With the rapid development of the Japanese economy, the country's electronics giant also began to rule memory chips, color television and video cassette recorder market, their R & D lab has developed a number of defined product of an era, such as Walkman, CD and DVD players.

Today, Japan's electronics manufacturers lag behind the Amazon, Apple, Google, and South Korea's Samsung Electronics. They are no longer the king of the electronics industry, in the last fiscal year, Sony, Panasonic and Sharp are a total loss of about $ 20 billion. Just four years ago, these companies made record profits of $ 6.4 billion.

Japan's current weakness rooted in its traditional strengths - designed to keep monozukuri (namely the creation of art), focused on the improvement of hardware. This concept is a source of national pride in Japan, it pushed the country's electronics companies strive production often is the world's thinnest smallest products or introduce other progressive technological progress, but they ignore the factors that people really care about, such as product the design and the ease of use.

Electronic reader business, for example, Sony is focused on sales of equipment, while Amazon is focused on selling e-books. The result is that the Kindle more in line with the fundamental reason for people to buy the electronic reader - books, reading books.

In June of this year, Tianjin He Yihong took over as president of Panasonic's press conference, said: "Japanese companies are too confident of their own technology and manufacturing skills, we have omitted from the consumer's point of view the product." Prior to this, Panasonic appeared the worst annual loss in company's 94-year history.

The new technology can not save the Japanese companies

Japan's loss of the latest example of industry leadership, may become the dominant technology of the next generation of TV standards ─ ─ organic light-emitting diode (OLED) in the development of competition in the country in a backward position. This new display is thinner and lower power consumption.

South Korea's top TV maker Samsung has been dominant in a small OLED display market, this screen is commonly used in smart phones and other mobile devices. Today, Samsung and its local rival LG 55-inch OLED TV plans to launch later this year.

In order to try to narrow the gap with South Korean rival, the long-standing opponent of the Sony and Panasonic feud an unprecedented move in June agreed to an alliance to jointly develop OLED production technology.

This is the tragic decline of the Sony, Sony five years ago to become the first sales of OLED TV manufacturers.

After years of missed opportunities, Sony has officially changed the direction of development that Samsung and other companies in developing new technology as the leader is actually more reasonable. Sony has suffered terribly in the first to introduce a breakthrough technology, the company's executives concluded that they do so just let the competitors have to catch up with the goal, and may lower the cost of imitation.

Give up the leader position

Saito took over in April this year, Sony, chief strategy officer post is that of a leader against the wind, sometimes running in the back would be easier. Another familiar with the idea of ​​Sony's executives said the loss of Sony in the TV business, making it harder to big gamble on the OLED business.

There is a big gap with Sony to create the initial situation, and was founder Akio Morita and Masaru Ibuka company went bankrupt in order to produce a new color TV almost. Prototype in 1964, due to running out of money, Sony began efforts to develop mass production technology. Sony has spent four years research and development, before launching laid the successful foundation of the later 30 years of color picture tubes "Trinitron.

Barclays (Barclays) in Tokyo's electronics industry analyst Yuji (Yuji Fujimori), Fujimori said, now the feeling is "From a financial point of view, these Japanese companies can not take these risks.

According to the change in digital gadgets industry, what kind of situation will be in electronics industry?

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