Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Japanese Home Electronics Companies Wander Downward, Aimlessly

Zero Hedge (11/13/2012) has interesting charts that shows how the Japanese consumer electronics companies and the Korean counterpart (Samsung) have diverged in terms of market caps, post Lehman:

Sony, Panasonic, NEC, Sharp have been bleeding badly for years now.

Samsung, however, pales when Apple's market cap is plotted:

That once-mighty Japanese electronics companies are stagnant and declining is discernible from their homepages. They seem to be living in the late 1990 and early 2000s that will never come back.

The websites are clean, subdued, with information well organized, nothing wrong with that. But compared to Samsung and Apple, it is apparent they don't know what to sell, what to focus. Sony emphasizes its environmentally conscious activities; again nothing wrong with that, but what about products and technology? Panasonic features a dreamy-faced young woman staring vacantly into the distance. NEC emphasizes "energy", Sharp "air purifiers", and Toshiba an entire town wired with Toshiba products.

Samsung and Apple have products that people in the world want to buy (at least for now, before Ben, Mario and Shirakawa finish destroying the financial system), and that's what they feature on their websites.

(Screenshots of their Japanese homepages)








It was 1989 when Sony co-Founder and Chairman Akio Morita wrote a book with Shintaro Ishihara - "Japan That Can Say No". It was right before the collapse of the real estate bubble. Ever since, the government has been trying to reflate a bubble, any bubble.


Anonymous said...

The yen has been pretty much too expensive lately. Even Suzuki quit the US market.
Some Japanese products can sell much better at 120 or 150 yen/$ than at 77 yen/$.
But imported oil will cost much more.
Japan needs to lower the yen and do like Germany, focus on solar and wind energy.
Germnany seems very happy financialy with the decision to let go nuclear power.

Germany producing too much power after turning off nuclear reactors?


Anonymous said...

Japan is up shit creek without a paddle and denies it all, it will all come tumbling down for them soon enough...

Anonymous said...

I can tell you why Sony is losing market share it all started when Sony music sued Sony hardware for trying to produce an mp3 player without layer upon layer of pain in the butt Digital Rights Management built in to the device. The iPod took advantage of Sony's civil war to take a market that Sony could have easily controlled through the well known Walkman brand.

In addition Sony fumbled with the Playstation brand trying to repeat the success they had with inclusion of a DVD player in the PS2 console by including a Blue-ray player in the PS3. Problem was most people didn't own a 1080p HDTV when the PS3 was released in 2006. Then the economy took a dump so people were slower to adopt the then expensive Blu-ray Players and the few pricier HD titles available. Cheap upconvert DVD players helped to blunted BR sales. Most people were happy to buy a Wii that couldn't even play DVD's nor was it HD its only advantages were price and a new motion control system that Grandma could use. Sony and Microsoft both made fun of the control system and poor graphics as Nintendo handed them their respective asses each Holiday season for years. Eventually the PS3 and the XB360 both adopted motion control systems and swore up and down they weren't copying Nintendo. It also didn't help that Sony dropped backwards compatibility with the PS2 after the first generation PS3.

Sony was counting on everyone jumping on the Blu-Ray bandwagon but while the jump from VHS to DVD was huge even on a standard definition TV the jump from DVD to BR wasn't unless you were willing to pay for a full 1080p TV and a new sound system. For most people cheap old standard DVD's were still fine especially in a faltering economy. You need to keep in mind HDTV signals didn't become mandatory in the US until June 2009 and a lot of people waited until the last minute to upgrade. By that point the economy was solidly in the toilet so people weren't rushing out to buy expensive new toys. I know quite a few people who settled for a 720p as their first HDTV because the price was right.

I think Nintendo understood what the consumer wanted (price point) while Sony wanted to force an expensive new vision down the public's throat before most of them were ready to adopt. In the next few years Sony is going to have serious competition from cloud computing digital movie download services and once again they are in a perfect position to rule the roost with their huge movie catalog but they are still jerking around testing the market.

Anonymous said...

Funny iPad mini picture: it features the same icons as my iPhone, just more widely spaced. Anyways I think I will stick with the latter at least until programmed obsolescence will reap its home button.

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