Next on the Apple acquisition list I presume.
Japanese electronics firm Sharp has warned that it might not be able to keep going as a company, a situation that could put pressure on supply of iPhone 5s. Sharp's consumer electronics division is dragging it down and growth in its components business won't be enough to save it on its own, financial results show. "As …
Thursday 1st November 2012 17:23 GMT LarsG
Friday 2nd November 2012 09:35 GMT Captain Underpants
Merely making a better TV than the rest of TVs on the market won't be good enough, though: as far as I can tell a lot of the large Japanese tech firms have been struggling with TV sales in particular after deluding themselves into thinking that they can get consumers to buy TVs like they do mobile phones ie a new one every 18-24 months. (HD-ready/full-HD TV sales finally hitting critical mass a few years ago as HD-quality TV services and Blu-Ray players became affordably available was probably a factor here, but mistaking what amounts to a one-time-change happening over 12-18 months for a new trend that will definitely continue long-term is pretty foolish...)
Crap build quality or components aside (which usually leads to an immediate veto of the brand, especially if their warranty cover is crap), there's no real reason a consumer needs to buy a TV more than once every 5 years (and that's at the low end of the cycle). 3D/integrated Youtube/Freeview/SuperDuperHD/whatever are not compelling enough reasons to get people to upgrade their tv every couple of years, and it's somewhat surprising that the business as a whole thought that they could change this.
Thursday 1st November 2012 16:09 GMT Shaun Sheppard
Thursday 1st November 2012 16:17 GMT EddieD
Thursday 1st November 2012 20:54 GMT Chet Mannly
Friday 2nd November 2012 02:16 GMT Esskay
Re: Apple anyone?
Given the losses that Sharp are recording, it may be too heavy a burden even for Apple. $5.6bn losses are enough to burn through apple's reserves of cash at a fairly rapid rate - and enough to put them in the red and do a lot of damage to stocks.
Crawling back to Samsung will require a painful amount of pride swallowing, but it'll be the smarter choice from an economic point of view.
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Thursday 1st November 2012 16:09 GMT Nate Amsden
$10 billion loss
I saw earlier this morning people talking about Panasonic announcing a $10 billion loss
ran a search and got this
"The loss forecast, 30 times bigger than analysts estimated"
Thursday 1st November 2012 16:21 GMT ukaudiophile
Thursday 1st November 2012 16:30 GMT wowfood
Thursday 1st November 2012 17:14 GMT Shaun Sheppard
Apple should be Sharp, keep the components division and bring it in-house, then sell the sharp brand and retail factory to someone.
Apple then making their own screens, and potentially chips?
A match made in heaven IMO
While they're at it, they should stick and offer in for ARM as well and pull Samsungs licence, just for the crack.
Friday 2nd November 2012 07:29 GMT bazza
"While they're at it, they should stick and offer in for ARM as well and pull Samsungs licence, just for the crack."
There were rumours a couple of years ago that they would do just that. There were also rumours that Intel might have a pop at them. However if you consider ARM's place in the world, even the most spectacularly dozy competition regulator would sure see such a thing as being Not A Good Idea, and Apple would have to be fabulously dim witted not to realise that.
Also such licenses often have clauses in them to guard against this very thing. Apple buying ARM might contractually lead to Samsung getting its ARM license in perpetuity for free. If that's the case then Apple would likely know that themselves from studying the small print on their own license. It would effectively make ARM immune to takeover.
Apple buying a firm like Sharp is a risky proposition. Sharp have a talent pool that knows a lot about display panels. Without that talent pool Sharp are no where. If Apple bought Sharp those talented people might easily decide to quit, leaving Apple with an empty factory and no one to run it, defeating the point of the acquisition.
This has happened before to Apple - they bought PA-Semi primarily for the staff talent (largely ex DEC engineers), most of whom reportedly decided they didn't like being Apple drones and left. My own speculation is that this loss forced Apple initially to go to Samsung for their processor design for the iPhone, no doubt contrary to Job's wishes, and it took quite some time for Apple to reassemble a pool of engineers to do their chip designs in house.
Friday 2nd November 2012 03:14 GMT Shane 4
Friday 2nd November 2012 08:24 GMT AndrueC
Friday 2nd November 2012 09:20 GMT Robert E A Harvey
Oh, are Sharp still there?
I had a Sharp car radio in the 1970s, the last bit of stuff with that name on that impressed me in any way. It had far better audio quality, including the casette drive, than any of the competition. 2 years on, the replacement had a flashy display, cost twice as much and had lost the HF performance.
I've seen the products from time to time over the last 30 years. All very Me-too. No reason to buy them over any other. They seem to have survived by having capacity in an undersupplied market, and have no idea how to respond to the opposite position.
Friday 2nd November 2012 10:38 GMT Chairo
To buy in, would make a lot of sense for Apple IMHO.
Sharp and Apple both have a very similar brand strategy by selling high priced (erm - premium) products with a focus on design and technology.
- give them a foot in the telly market they tried so often to get in with little success.
- give Sharp a chance to refocus and restructure and perhaps a nice logo to stick on some of their products.
- they would be hero of the day in Japan for saving Sharp of being taken over by Taiwanese or (god beware!) Koreans. Renault and Carlos Ghozn are still held in very high regard here for saving Nissan some years back.
- give Apple a lot of key technology and enough patents to give Samsung et al. a serious headache and strengthen them against your usual patent troll.
Also I see little risk of Japanese engineers flocking away from Sharp because of Apple taking over. Apple has quite a good reputation here in Japan and the alternatives - to get a Chinese or Korean boss - are certainly less appealing to most Japanese.
All in all I would say a clear win-win for both of them. Now the question is - will Apple have the guts to do it?
Anyone taking bets?