In a rash of news coming out of Japan, it is clear that manufacturers are still struggling with the global economic slowdown…as well as an electronics industry retrenchment. As painful as it’s been for Japanese manufacturers (often called Japan, Inc.) over the last 12-24 months or so – adding insult to injury, the China market has slowed down dramatically recently. Considering that China was everyone’s favorite “emerging” growth market – this amounts to a swift kick in the pants and is forcing many to revisit their estimates for this fiscal year. Below is a sample of the latest painful announcements to come out of Japan over the last few days.
As the industry is on the verge of rolling out the latest HDTV upgrade – 4K resolution – news comes out of Japan that a coalition of Japanese broadcasters and television equipment manufacturers have collaborated to create the next great standard they call Ultra High Definition Television or UHDTV. Another incremental improvement? Oh no…UHDTV leapfrogs 4K…
Have you heard about UHDTV? You’re going to want to know about this… [Read more…] about Forget 4K! Japanese Engineers Create New Global Standard – UHDTV
The Nikkei Reported today that both Sony Corp. and Sharp Corp. have further reduced their original forecast for fiscal year 2012 flat-panel HDTV sales in the wake of a worldwide slowdown in demand. The move surprised analysts, as both companies had forecast weaker demand as part of their initial 2012 forecast. But, as we’ve been reporting for months, sales of flat-panel TVs in Japan’s domestic market have fallen off a cliff as previous government rebate programs meant to encourage consumers to switch to a new digital TV system, as well as to more energy-efficient TVs and appliances, came to an end. Now, manufacturers are experiencing slack demand around the world, including a slowdown in the market they had been counting on to provide substantial growth – China. [Read more…] about After Surprising Analysts with Initial Downgraded 2012 TV Sales Forecast, Sony & Sharp Stun Again with Deeper Cuts
In a public move that will probably make more sense in Japan than it will here, Sony Corp. said on Tuesday that seven top executives will return their fiscal 2011 performance-linked bonuses. The executives affected by this decision include their former CEO Howard Stringer and current CEO Kazuo Harai.
Why this announcement now?…. [Read more…] about Sony Slaps Senior Execs – Makes Them Give Back Pay
JVC Kenwood Corp. said that next spring it will begin selling a system designed to deliver the soothing sounds of the forest streamed over the Internet in real time. The company will be involved in all aspects of the system from setting up source equipment to collect the sounds of various forests, to coordinating the delivery of the forest content across the Internet, to delivering unique speaker systems in the homes of end users with technology to receive and play the environmental sounds.
How does it work?…
In yet another sign of the decline of a once seemingly invincible technological powerhouse, shares in Sony Corp. in Tokyo closed Monday below ¥1,000 ($12.76) per share – setting a disturbing new record low. The last time the stock was this low was August 1, 1980 – 32 years ago. The press in Japan took notice and newspapers couldn’t help but point to the development as a symbol of an industry slump that is changing the world’s view of Japan’s technological prowess.
Why do analysts think this happened?…
<February 22, 2012> Shipments of consumer electronics products in Japan destined for domestic consumption dropped an amazing 33.9% for the month of January according to data from the Japan Electronics and Information Technology Industries Association. [Read more…] about CE Shipments in Japan Drop Almost 34%, The Sixth Straight Month of Decline
<February 22, 2012> The final step in a move that has been expected by some for a long time has been completed as China’s TPV Technology Ltd. shareholders approved the acquisition of the money-losing TV division from Philips Electronics. While Philips exited the TV business here in the United States several years ago, the company enjoyed greater sales success – if not profitably – elsewhere in the world. In fact, at one time, Philips was one of the biggest television brands in the world – but no longer. [Read more…] about It’s Official – Philips Is Out of the TV Business…Globally
<February 22, 2012> Standard & Poors, the credit rating agency, today cut Panasonic Corp.’s long-term debt rating for the second time in only four months suggesting it continues to expect a rough road ahead for some of Japan’s most prestigious brands, according to a report in the Nikkei. [Read more…] about S&P Cuts Panasonic’s Long-Term Debt Rating…Again
<February 15, 2012> Samsung Electronics Co. surprised many in the industry today when it revealed that it is considering spinning-off its LCD flat-panel television business which is losing money amid a worldwide slowdown in consumer demand according to a report by Reuters. The company says letting the LCD business go will allow it to focus on what it believes will be the next wave in television technology – OLED which it hopes will stimulate consumer demand …and company profits. [Read more…] about TV War Won, Samsung Considers Spinning Off its Money-Losing LCD TV Business