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How Japan Lost Its Electronics Crown - WSJ.com
August 15, 2012 | WSJ | By DAISUKE WAKABAYASHI.
How Japan Lost Its Electronics Crown
Sony, Sharp and Panasonic Fixated on Hardware Breakthroughs; 'Sometimes, It's Easier to Run From Behind'

over the past 20 years for Japan's once-world-dominant electronics firms. Japanese companies have beaten rivals to the market with hardware breakthroughs—from flat-panel televisions to advanced mobile phones.

But in each case, foreign rivals have cashed in by delivering faster improvements, integrating the products with easy-to-use software and online services, and delivering a smarter marketing message....Now, Japan's device makers are an afterthought to Apple Inc., AAPL +0.27% Google Inc. GOOG +1.31% and South Korea's Samsung Electronics Co. 005930.SE +1.51%

Japan's current weakness is rooted in its traditional strength: a fixation with "monozukuri," or the art of making things, focused on hardware advances.

This concept, a source of national pride, pushed Japan's electronics firms to strive for products that were often the world's thinnest, smallest, or delivered other incremental improvement—while losing sight of factors that really mattered to people such as design and ease of use.

In the case of the e-reader, Sony was focused on selling devices, while Amazon was focused on selling books. As a result, the Kindle was more in tune with the raison d'être for purchasing the device: to buy and read books.

"Even though the first device definitely pointed the way to the future, it's a market that got away from Sony," said Mr. Gartenberg, research director at Gartner Inc. "Others have far more successfully capitalized."
Japan  consumer_electronics  e-books  Sony  Sharp  Panasonic  Toshiba  Samsung  e-readers  what_really_matters 
august 2012 by jerryking
Toshiba Sets Sights on Southeast Asia - WSJ.com
NOVEMBER 30, 2010

Toshiba Set to Tap Emerging Markets
Company's new TV sets will be designed to counter blackouts and poor reception often found in emerging markets
By JURO OSAWA
Toshiba  emerging_markets  Southeast_Asia  television  consumer_electronics  tv 
july 2011 by jerryking

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