COMMENT:Sharp has joined a long list of Japanese Companies that are struggling to make it in the consumer electronics market, now Apple has taken over the Companies TV manufacturing plants to produce display screens for Apple products.
Among the Japanese Companies who have failed to make it in the TV market are Pioneer, Fujitsu, NEC and now Sharp.
The Sharp TV products now being sold in Australia are yesterday’s technology and locally Sharp marketing executives have struggled to differentiate their products from the likes of Samsung, LG, Sony and Panasonic, even Chinese brand Hisense is doing a better marketing job of their products in Australia.
Sharp’s definition of effective marketing is so old hat.
They believe that all they have to do is get a TV ranged with a retailer, throw in some Co-Op dollars and then do limited advertising up against brands like Sony who are investing heavily in the 2014 World Cup in Brazil. Samsung is also spending million telling consumers about their new Curved screen TV technology.
Sharp Australia claim that they offers an impressive range of Full HD 1080P and HD-Ready LCD TVs on their web site. Their Marketing Director Mark Beard a former Samsumg marketing executive, has not returned several calls that SmartHouse has made to him seeking clarification about their TV technology and above all the future for the Sharp brand in Australia.
A visit to the Sharp web site is like going back to the early days of web sites and when one compares the TV section on the Sharp site to the slick information on the Samsung, Sony, Panasonic and LG sites one gets a feel that this Company is on its last legs due to the parent Companies lack of capital, poor marketing and above a lack of investment in future TV technology.
On the Sharp web site which ironically is not www.sharp.com.au, the Company lists 16 TV models.
There is no mention of 4K, Ultra High Definition or OLED TV technology for the simple reason that the Company is struggling to invest in future TV technology despite bragging four years ago that “they led the world” in the development of TV display with their Aquos technology.
Anyone buying a large screen Sharp TV today runs the real risk of owning a TV that cannot be upgraded similar to what Samsung is offering customers, their range lacks the latest Smart TV or application software that delivers for consumers a new generation of IP enabled content.
Sharp Australia claim that they are taking their LCD TV to the next level by providing the broadest range not the latest technology.
An example of the difference is the comparison of the Samsung Series 9 85″ TV which retails for $9998 it is packed with the latest technology including UHD, 4K technology, Smart TV applications and is upgradable.
The Sharp 90″ LED Backlight LCD TV which comes with LED backlight technology, 3D and limited Smart apps is selling for $19,999.00 AUD.
There is no comparison between the two brands yet one is $10,000 more expensive.
Sharp is looking distinctly like a brand that is on its last legs.
18 months ago the Company admitted that there was “material doubt” that it may be able to continue as a “going concern.” These are never good words to hear from a major company.
During the past 18 months things of gone from bad to worse for the Japanese Company, even Foxcom the giant Chinese manufacturer backed away from a major investment in the ailing Company. They settled for a 10% share in an effort to supply panels for Apple.
The company has slashed several thousand workers and is trying to offload assembly plants all over the world.
Meanwhile, it’s trying to supply companies like Apple with mobile displays.
Now we can reveal that Apple and Sharp are sparring over production equipment, providing a window into Apple’s sizable role in manufacturing the components it uses.
According to CNet and Japan’s Nikkei news service, Sharp is seeking to buy production equipment back from Apple at Sharp’s Kameyama Plant No. 1 in Mie Prefecture.
Last month a senior executive at Sharp revealed that the entire output of the Japanese display maker’s Kameyama No. 1 plant “goes to just one company (Apple).”
Now we’re learning that Apple actually owns a big chunk of that production and Sharp wants it back.
Sharp dedicates an entire LCD plant to Apple: Executive cites ‘volatility’.
The No.1 Kameyama plant that once made TV display panels for Sharp TV’s now makes displays for the “iPhone 6” models due later this year.
Sharp is offering about $293 million to complete the deal, Nikkei said, citing sources.
Why? Sharp wants to diversify away from Apple — whose production requirements can swing wildly from quarter to quarter — and use that production for Chinese smartphone manufacturers claims CNet.
But there is one major stipulation. “The US technology giant is said to be demanding that the Japanese company not supply panels to Samsung, Apple’s biggest smartphone rival,” Nikkei said.
If true, that would eliminate one of the world’s largest display customers. While Samsung uses its own in-house production of OLED displays for its Galaxy series of smartphones, it uses LCDs — sometimes sourced from outside the company — for other products.
Sharp is trying to build up its IGZO (indium-gallium-zinc oxide) LCD business, which the company touts as an energy-efficient display technology.