Categories: Consumer Electronics

In Electronics, Japan Still Matters

Posted by: Bruce Einhorn on March 17

In the global technology industry's pecking order, Japanese consumer electronics companies long ago surrendered their top spot to more nimble competitors like Samsung Electronics and Apple. Many of the country's...

Apple Supplier Foxconn's Boss Wins Support

Posted by: Bruce Einhorn on August 16

Terry Gou, the embattled boss of Apple's outsourcing manufacturer Foxconn (part of Hon Hai Precision Industry) has an unlikely ally in media tycoon Jimmy Lai. Lai's chairman of Next Media,...

LG Offers Flexible E-Paper for Newspapers

Posted by: Ihlwan Moon on January 14

Most e-readers available in the market so far have been just too small for newspapers. But it could soon be a reality for you to enjoy the sensation of holding...

Samsung Posts High Profit, Sees Better Year Ahead

Posted by: Ihlwan Moon on January 07

Samsung Electronics on Jan. 7 reported its highest profit in five years and record revenues for 2009, with Chief Executive Choi Gee Sung predicting smooth sailing ahead. In quarterly guidance...

Sony Gets A TV Repairman

Posted by: Kenji Hall on November 26

It's been a hard slog for Sony in flat-panel TVs. The business has lost money for the past five years, and is expected to do so again this year. In...

Sony's Hirai Talks About An i-Tunes-like Store

Posted by: Kenji Hall on November 20

Sony's Kazuo Hirai has a lot of ideas about what he would do if it had an iTunes-like online store. The company wouldn't just sell digital music, movies and books...

Sony's Outlook Brightens

Posted by: Kenji Hall on October 30

Sony's future is looking a bit brighter. The company said today that it now expects an operating loss of $655 million (60 billion yen) rather than $1.2 billion (110 billion...

LG Beats Profit Forecasts, Growth Seen Slowing

Posted by: Ihlwan Moon on October 21

South Korea’s LG Electronics continued its stellar performance, reporting a quarterly profit that beats corporate analysts’ forecasts. LG, which is trying to follow the footsteps of its compatriot Samsung Electronics...

Analog in a Digital Age: Polaroid Re-launches its Cameras

Posted by: Frederik Balfour on October 13

I had something of a “Mad Men” moment during today's re-launch event hosted by Polaroid in Hong Kong’s Grand Hyatt Hotel. Leggy models touting vintage Polaroid cameras prowled the room...

Japan Tech Makers Bet Exposure Can Help Sell 3D TVs

Posted by: Kenji Hall on October 09

Anyone who visited Japan’s electronics show, CEATEC, this week would not have missed the next big thing for the country’s largest technology makers: 3D TVs. Panasonic, Sony, Sharp and Toshiba...

Toshiba Puts Cell Chip In TVs

Posted by: Kenji Hall on October 05

What does the future of TV look like? If you believe Toshiba, it will be a 55-inch, flat-screen, liquid-crystal-display TV. It will come with a 3-terabyte hard disk drive. And...

Panasonic Enlists Hollywood To Promote 3D TVs

Posted by: Kenji Hall on September 28

In recent years, TV manufacturers have tried to entice buyers with thinner screens and crisper images. Now Panasonic is trying to portray itself as a force in the tech industry...

Korea Removes Potential Roadblock for iPhone

Posted by: Ihlwan Moon on September 24

Korea has never been a priority for Apple when it introduced its innovative products in global markets. But a long delay in the sale of Apple’s iPhone in Korea has...

Why Korean Tech Firms Make Money But Japanese Tech Firms Don't

Posted by: Kenji Hall on July 31

Take a look at first-quarter earnings released yesterday for Sony and Sharp. They can be summed up in a word: dismal. Though Sony and Sharp announced results that weren't as...

LG Electronics Earnings Beat Expectations

Posted by: Ihlwan Moon on July 22

South Korea’s LG Electronics reported a record quarterly profit in the three months ended in June as it kept gaining market share in the global mobile phone and TV industries...

Is Sony Developing A PlayStation Phone?

Posted by: Kenji Hall on June 29

Is Sony finally taking aim at Apple’s iPhone? Over the weekend the Japanese business daily Nikkei reported that Sony plans to form a skunkworks team whose job it will be...

Bain Capital Bets on China's GOME

Posted by: Dexter Roberts on June 24

Following a seven-month trading suspension, electronic retailer GOME’s Hong Kong-listed shares soared 70% on June 23, following the announcement that Bain Capital will buy as much as 23.5% of the...

Analyst: Sony May Outsource Up To 50% Of Flat TVs

Posted by: Kenji Hall on June 17

In late January, Sony’s CEO Howard Stringer suggested that he was considering outsourcing flat-panel TVs. Not all, mind you, but just enough that the TV division, which accounts for 10%...

Samsung Smartphones’ Strength and Weakness

Posted by: Ihlwan Moon on June 16

Heralding an aggressive push this year in the smartphone market, Samsung Electronics unveiled this week five new models sporting features comparable to Apple’s iPhone. The Korean company, the world’s...

Samsung-Sony Venture Adds LCD Capacity despite IT Slump

Posted by: Ihlwan Moon on June 02

A liquid-crystal display (LCD) joint venture between Samsung Electronics and Sony held a ceremony on June 2 to mark the start of volume production at its new factory aimed at...

Snip, Snip, Snip: Sony Cuts Supply Chain Costs

Posted by: Kenji Hall on May 21

Barely a month in his new post, Sony Executive Deputy President Yutaka Nakagawa is already earning his keep. Since April, it has been Nakagawa’s job to drastically overhaul the company's...

Samsung Unveils its First Android Phone

Posted by: Ihlwan Moon on April 27

Samsung Electronics on Apr. 27 unveiled its first smartphone using the Android operating system backed by Google. The South Korean electronics giant is the second company to roll out...

Sony: Touch-Screen Walkman X Is Not A Mini-Computer

Posted by: Kenji Hall on April 14

One of the first questions for Sony officials whenever the electronics and entertainment company pulls the wraps off a new Walkman is: How does it differ from Apple's iPod?...

Sony Revamps TV Biz, Warns of Annual Losses

Posted by: Kenji Hall on January 22

As demand for consumer electronics craters worldwide, Sony is looking to pare back its TV production in Japan, possibly stopping work at one of two domestic factories where it assembles...

Imminent Leadership Shakeup at Samsung

Posted by: Ihlwan Moon on January 15

Will a new leadership shakeup inject fresh confidence into Samsung Electronics? That’s a key question many corporate analysts are asking as Samsung Group, South Korea’s largest conglomerate, prepares to announce...

Will Sony Post a Loss This Year?

Posted by: Kenji Hall on January 12

Just last month, Sony announced plans to lay off thousands of employees, delay spending on factories, and streamline its supply chain for semiconductor chips and flat TVs. The cutbacks, which...

CES: Panasonic Announces TV Spending Cuts

Posted by: Kenji Hall on January 09

Japan’s tech makers are pouring on the glitz at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas but not all is well for many of them in TV-land. On Jan. 9,...

CES: LG's Dick Tracy Watch Phone

Posted by: Kenji Hall on January 09

The watch phone has been a techie dream since the Dick Tracy comics popularized the idea in the mid-1940s. Developing one, though, has been a lot trickier. LG Electronics’s Woo...

CES: Sony's Tiny Notebook, Yahoo! on TV

Posted by: Kenji Hall on January 08

Sony announced today its plans to sell what it says is the world’s lightest notebook PC. The new ultra-thin notebook, dubbed the P series, will weigh just 1.4 pounds and...

Panasonic Sweetens Its Offer For Sanyo By A Pittance, Goldman Accepts

Posted by: Kenji Hall on December 18

Adding one yen per share hardly qualifies as a deal sweetener. And yet if you believe the reports today, Panasonic's offer of 131 yen a share for Sanyo Electric--one yen...

iPhone, BlackBerry to Make Debut in Korea

Posted by: Ihlwan Moon on December 16

Tech-savvy residents in South Korea will finally have access to the iPhone and the BlackBerry Bold after being shut out from the globally popular smartphones. SK Telecom, Korea’s largest mobile...

Could LG Pass Motorola for No. 3 Handset Spot Next Year?

Posted by: Ihlwan Moon on December 03

Executives at South Korea’s LG Electronics try to avoid expressing their ambition to outsell Motorola and Sony Ericsson and become the world’s third largest maker of mobile phones. Yet Skott...

Panasonic Cuts Earnings Outlook

Posted by: Kenji Hall on November 27

With the world’s financial markets still in crisis and analysts forecasting a grim holiday season for tech makers, this is hardly the time to be talking about growth targets. But...

Circuit City's Collapse Costs Japan's Sony, Toshiba, Panasonic

Posted by: Kenji Hall on November 11

It’s no secret that Japan’s tech companies are bracing for a tough yearend holiday shopping period. Circuit City’s collapse just added to their misery. Sony Computer Entertainment, Sony’s video game...

Samsung Topples Motorola as No.1 in the U.S.

Posted by: Ihlwan Moon on November 07

Samsung Electronics recorded an impressive performance in the U.S in the third quarter of this year, seizing the bragging right to be the No.1 brand in the world’s largest mobile...

New Samsung Phone: a Real iPhone Killer?

Posted by: Ihlwan Moon on November 04

To hear Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer talk about Samsung Electronics’ new upgraded smart phone, T*Omnia, Korean consumers will soon get the mother of all smart phones on the planet....

Yen’s Rise Forces Sony to Lower Annual Profit Forecasts

Posted by: Kenji Hall on October 23

The surging yen is taking a toll on Japan Inc. On Oct. 23, Sony issued a profit warning, saying that it expects the yen’s recent gains against a slew of...

Panasonic’s Camera Strategy: Women and Elderly First

Posted by: Kenji Hall on September 12

Panasonic could have spruced up its digital camera lineup with another feature-packed product. But instead it chose to survey women and elderly consumers and to design a camera with them...

Sony Ericsson's Answer (in Several Parts) to the iPhone?

Posted by: Kenji Hall on August 18

The release of Sony Ericsson’s Xperia mobile phone is still a couple of months away but there’s a lot of buzz in the blogosphere about it. The X1 was first...

Sony Ups the Ante on Batteries

Posted by: Kenji Hall on August 04

What is it about Japanese companies and batteries? Today, Sony announced that it would spend $370 million to boost its output of lithium-ion batteries used in laptop computers, cameras, cellphones...

Cell Phones Hurt Sony Earnings

Posted by: Kenji Hall on July 29

Soaring energy costs and the economic slowdown are wreaking havoc on Sony’s earnings. The electronics and entertainment company announced on July 29 that first-quarter operating profits sank 39% to 73.4...

Is Sony TV Spin-Off a Potential Rival?

Posted by: Kenji Hall on July 02

Did Sony unwittingly spawn a rival TV technology? That’s a question worth asking now that it appears that Field Emission Technologies, which was split off from Sony in late 2006...

Sony's Bad Luck

Posted by: Kenji Hall on June 27

Talk about bad timing. Sony's announcement yesterday that it will turn around its loss-making TV and videogame businesses this fiscal year and work to give nearly all of its gadgets...

Sony Shareholders Want to See the Money

Posted by: Kenji Hall on June 20

Show me the money. That’s what investors heckled Sony’s management about at the company’s annual shareholders meeting held today in Tokyo. What were their specific demands? Raise dividends and fully...

In TVs, Sony is Attuned to Market Shift

Posted by: Kenji Hall on May 14

The prospect of a global economic downturn should make Sony nervous. After all, you can’t expect consumers to be out shopping for giant flat-screen TVs and other pricey consumer electronics...

Kenwood, Victor of Japan (JVC) to Merge

Posted by: Kenji Hall on May 12

More merger news from Japan. This time, it's two mid-sized consumer electronics companies, Kenwood and Victor of Japan (maker of the JVC brand), that are joining forces to improve their...

Pioneer Gets Smart About Surviving TV Battle

Posted by: Kenji Hall on March 04

It shouldn’t surprise anyone that Pioneer is considering outsourcing the panels that it uses to make flat-screen plasma TVs. Making flat TVs from scratch requires heavy-duty investments in plants and...

Sharp and Sony Tie Up in LCDs for Flat TVs

Posted by: Kenji Hall on February 26

Consolidation it wasn’t. But on Feb. 26 when Sony (SNE) said it would pick up part of the $3.5-billion tab for Sharp’s planned TV-panel plant, two of the world’s biggest...

Goldman downgrades Sony

Posted by: Kenji Hall on January 22

Sony’s out. That’s according to Goldman Sachs analyst Yuji Fujimori, who downgraded Sony (from “buy” to “neutral”) today, effectively telling investors to remove the stock from their shopping carts (but...

Sharp-Samsung Legal Tussles Herald U.S. Marketing Race

Posted by: Ihlwan Moon on December 31

A recent spate of legal tussles between Japan’s Sharp and South Korea’s Samsung Electronics over LCD-related patent infringement heralds a fierce fight in the U.S. for a bigger share of...

Sony Exits Rear-Projection TVs

Posted by: Kenji Hall on December 27

Mention Sony TVs and the Bravia line of flat-panel liquid-crystal-display sets comes to mind for most people. And no wonder: The marketing behind Sony's flat TVs has been nothing short...

Another Bruise for Sanyo

Posted by: Kenji Hall on December 26

At Sanyo Electric, it's gone from bad to worse. The Japanese electronics and appliance company's stock dropped to an 11-month low after yesterday's announcement that the company had restated six...

Sony's Stringer Talks

Posted by: Kenji Hall on December 11

Sony Chairman and Chief Exec Sir Howard Stringer met with reporters in Tokyo earlier today. Here are edited excerpts from the hourlong Q&A. On the PlayStation Network It's not proprietary....

Why Bernanke's Warning Hurts Panasonic

Posted by: Kenji Hall on November 09

Call it the Bernanke effect. Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke's warning that U.S. growth could "slow noticeably" hit Japanese stocks like a ton of bricks, sending them to a three-month...

Samsung Faces Embarrassing Legal Challenge

Posted by: Ihlwan Moon on November 06

Samsung is no stranger to legal battles. In recent years, the South Korean conglomerate has been brought to courtrooms, accused of patent infringements or price fixing for its products such...

Sony's Asset-Lite Chip Strategy Is Good News For Games

Posted by: Kenji Hall on October 18

It's no coincidence that Sony's decision to sell its production line for the high-powered Cell chip to Toshiba comes so soon after a cut in the price of its PlayStation...

From C-Suite To Wall Street: Is An Esoteric Company Metric Going Mainstream?

Posted by: Kenji Hall on October 16

You've probably never heard of Francis McInerney. He's the 57-year-old managing director of New York-based consulting firm North River Ventures and the author of several books on business. McInerney also...

Buy Sony's Internet-to-TV Link, Get SI's Swimsuit Video

Posted by: Kenji Hall on October 09

Buy a Sony TV (plus attachable module), get Sports Illustrated's annual swimsuit issue—-in video. That might get men to drop anywhere between $900 and $6000 for a flat-screen Sony...

Samsung Teams up with B&O on Phone

Posted by: Ihlwan Moon on October 08

The latest thing among cellphone makers, it seems, is moving upscale. Little wonder that global manufacturers are reaching out to luxury brands to bring out fashion phones with a...

Will Shoppers See More Panasonic-branded LCD TVs?

Posted by: Ihlwan Moon on October 05

With the rapid growth in LCD television sales allowing Samsung Electronics to maintain its global TV leadership, it would be interesting to watch how Matsushita Electric will react over the...

Sony's Hope For Flat TVs Is In An 11-inch Set

Posted by: Kenji Hall on October 01

The future of Sony's flat TV business is a set with a screen that measures just 11 inches diagonally and rotates on a swivel arm. In an era when the...

Will Sharp Gobble Up Pioneer?

Posted by: Kenji Hall on September 20

Can someone reading the tech-industry tea leaves tell me what the Sharp-Pioneer alliance, announced today, means? One company makes solar cells, flat liquid-crystal-display TVs and next-generation DVD players. The other...

Sony Gets Serious About Outsourcing Cell Chip

Posted by: Kenji Hall on September 16

Back in February, Sony's Yutaka Nakagawa told analysts that he was considering outsourcing production of the high-powered Cell chip. The chip, which Sony developed with IBM and Toshiba, is the...

Could Sanyo Cellphone Biz Sale Trigger Merger Mania For Japan's Handset Makers?

Posted by: Kenji Hall on September 14

That's a key question that many observers will be asking if Sanyo Electric sells its cellphone business to Kyocera, as the Japanese financial daily Nikkei reports today. The sale...

Memo to Sony's SLR Group: What Took You So Long?

Posted by: Kenji Hall on September 06

A year after Sony entered the single-reflex-lens camera market with an entry-level model, it's about to launch its second camera with an interchangeable lens in November. The Alpha 700...

A Taiwanese Company Throws in the Towel

Posted by: Bruce Einhorn on August 24

For Asian companies looking to jumpstart their efforts to build a global brand, the case of the strangely-named Taiwanese company BenQ is a scary example of just how wrong things...

Will LCD TVs follow the PC model?

Posted by: Ihlwan Moon on August 23

Will Taiwanese contract manufacturers make most LCD TVs in the future just like the way most PCs are produced now? That’s a big question raised after U.S.-based companies Vizio, Syntax-Brillian...

Sharp's Oh-So-Thin Display

Posted by: Kenji Hall on August 22

Remember the new $3-billion factory Sharp announced plans for just last month? Most people (including me) assumed the Japanese TV maker was just burning through more money to make...

Sony Fights the Dark Side of E-Waste

Posted by: Kenji Hall on August 17

It's a common eyesore in many homes: a jumbled mass of old PCs, monitors, MP3 players, cell phones and connecting wires clogging our closets or file drawers. How often...

Sharp's Spending Spree

Posted by: Kenji Hall on July 31

Japan's Sharp is a master of oneupsmanship. And why wouldn't it be? To survive and stay profitable in the flat-panel TV business manufacturers have to pour billions of dollars...

Matsushita Walks Away From JVC...Not Really

Posted by: Kenji Hall on July 24

So much for trying to get rid of JVC. Victor of Japan had been a financial albatross for Matsushita Electric Industrial for so long that it only seemed natural for...

Mickey Mouse Music Player

Posted by: Ihlwan Moon on June 25

The use of flash memory chips to store data and songs has enabled the design of small and light digital music players. South Korea’s ReignCom, which sells music players...

PlayStation's Father Steps Aside

Posted by: Kenji Hall on April 26

In the end, it was Ken Kutaragi himself who felt his creation was better off without him. On April 26, the inventor Sony's iconic PlayStation video game consoles proposed to...

Sharp's Lookin' Good, But Not Trouble-Free

Posted by: Kenji Hall on April 25

Sharp's numbers today were impressive: For the fiscal year through March, it posted double-digit gains in sales and profits and record highs across the board for the fourth straight year....

Coming To Your Big-Screen TV: High-Def Photos

Posted by: Kenji Hall on February 28

I'm finding it harder than ever to get excited about digital cameras. Call me jaded but it seems like every few weeks a tech maker comes out with yet...

Sharp's Share Falls

Posted by: Kenji Hall on February 14

Should Sharp be worried? The latest iSuppli ranking for the fourth quarter of 2006 showed Sharp dropping to fourth place with just 11.4% of the global LCD TV market. (Samsung...

Sony Cuts Back On Chip Spending

Posted by: Kenji Hall on February 13

Is Sony giving its semiconductor strategy a rethink? That's what Yutaka Nakagawa, who heads Sony's semiconductor division, suggested to reporters on Feb. 13. The exec said Sony's investment in its...

Samsung Phone Joins Family of Touch-screen Devices

Posted by: Ihlwan Moon on February 07

Underscoring a new tech trend this year, South Korea’s Samsung Electronics on Feb. 8 unveiled its new smart phone that lets users dial numbers and call up features by...

Canon through one SED TV roadblock?

Posted by: Kenji Hall on January 12

Canon's announcement today that it will buy Toshiba's entire stake in their joint venture making SED TVs is likely to bolster the tech maker's case in a patent fight in...

Matsushita's Big Plans For Plasma

Posted by: Ian Rowley on January 09

The battle between producers of LCD, plasma and other flat TV screens shows no sign of letting up. Today, Matsushita Electric Industrial announced that it will spend $2.5 billion to...

LG Unveils Dual-format HD Disc Player

Posted by: Ihlwan Moon on January 07

On the eve of the opening of the International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, South Korea’s LG Electronics allowed journalists to have a peek at its new next-generation...

Toshiba Quits Music Biz, Puts Sony in Spotlight

Posted by: Kenji Hall on December 14

Who says content is king? Toshiba's decision on Dec. 14 to unload its stake in music venture Toshiba-EMI for $170 million suggests that not everybody believes in the money-making potential...

Déjà vu at Sony

Posted by: Ian Rowley on October 17

Another day, another Sony laptop battery recall. Today, Sony said it would be recalling up to 60,000 battery packs used in its Vaio laptops in Japan and 30,000 in China...

More on Hon Hai's China fiasco

Posted by: Bruce Einhorn on September 06

Some advice for Terry Gou, the chairman of Hon Hai, the giant Taiwanese electronics company: Hire a flak. And make sure it's a good one. You're a billionaire and one...

Remote control palmed off

Posted by: Ian Rowley on August 08

Those wasted hours searching for remote controls could soon be over. Researchers at Osaka University in Japan have come up with a new system where palm movements, rather than...

LG Charges Ahead with Plasma Business

Posted by: Ihlwan Moon on August 03

LG Electronics execs almost sound like a broken record player when they talk about the company’s ambition to be a top-tier consumer electronics player within a couple of years. Its...

Glued To Our Net TVs?

Posted by: Kenji Hall on August 02

Ready to swap your PC for an Internet TV? That's what five Japanese consumer-electronics makers are betting on with their plans for a hard sell of Net-connected TVs by...

Matsushita's branding dilemma

Posted by: Kenji Hall on July 19

It seems Matsushita Electric Industrial is considering a new strategy for its brand. A few days ago, Matsushita officials sent out a survey by email to journalists asking for advice....

A contrarian view on the Apple China controversy

Posted by: Bruce Einhorn on June 19

Hurray for Perry Wu, who blogs at ChinaTechNews. Wu has weighed in on the controversy surrounding the report in the UK tabloid, the Mail on Sunday, about alleged iPod sweatshops...

Haier invests in South Carolina

Posted by: Bruce Einhorn on April 12

If ever a Chinese company needed a new brand, it’s white-goods and consumer-electronics maker Haier. The company is a success story, with its refrigerators and washing machines and TVs selling...

Apple's latest victim

Posted by: Bruce Einhorn on April 06

Quick: What Asian company is the biggest threat to Apple and the iPod? My guess is that most people would answer Samsung or Sony. But when it comes to...

About

Bloomberg Businessweek’s team of Asia reporters brings you the latest insights on business, politics, technology and culture from some of the world’s biggest and fastest-growing economies.

BW Mall - Sponsored Links

Buy a link now!