In fact, with the rapid development of technology, the public want to frequently have new experience, so cheaper product is more appealing to them. But there are still many people focusing on quality. I think Sony's failure is mainly due to its wrong operation, market position...
Yes, I agree with you.
Japan is still a leader in technology innovation, which can be shown from the competitive cooperation with Sharp by world-famous companies, such as Samsung, Qualcomm...
But Japan is difficult to adopt new business mode; and they focus much on protecting their advanced technology but less fusion of different elements.
I agree with you George. I had same experience with Sony LCD TV's and other gadgets a few years back and I'm not buying Sony products anymore since those incidents. Then Sony to me was a quality brand demanding premium price and I was willing to pay for that quality but since that incidents, my perception about Sony has changed dramatically. Somehow Sony has failed to keep up the quality of their products and lost market shares to Samsung and LG. I think it was a general management issues at Sony precipitated to working levels. It still remains.....
The innovation is the only option to get ahead. The innovation not only in technology but also in cost savings in manufacturing and materials, business models, flexibility, productivity and not least human capital. I believe Japan can still innovate technology but not in other areas such as business models, flexibility and human capital. The Japanese society as a whole won't adapt to business models requires social/mental changes. For them it's hard to accept different values/solutions to their cultural norm.
I would like to put a little damper on Sony quality reputation. I have several of their products where various components failed in time (intermittent contacts) and what's worse Sony does not support them any more - no parts are available. The worst case is their 50" LCD projection TV KDF-E50A10. The optical block in it failed resulting in distorted colours. Internet search revealed it was a common occurrence and consumers filed a class action suit against Sony, who only reluctantly agreed to "repair" few sets. What's more, the repair consisted of installing the same part which subsequently failed again!
I also want to chime in on the "who buys high-end cameras or home stereos anymore?" I do! And I also appreciate high-quality displays.
Every consumer purchasing decision involves a cost vs. performance tradeoff. Not every consumer is willing to pay for the best of the best, but that doesn't mean he doesn't appreciate the quality or performance that puts that product at the top. Likewise, most consumers don't simply go for the lowest price and ignore poor quality or performance or lack of features.
Sony's reputation in consumer electronics -- justified or not -- was always one of high quality, innovative products. I would love to see them reinvigorate that focus on higher end CE products. They will never beat the Koreans in a price war, so they should focus on making higher end products that consumers will perceive as being worth the extra money.
By the time Sony starts to catch up with Samsung in smartphone business, it will be because the smartphone industry has passed its peak and starts to become dominated by Lenovo, Huawei, ZTE.
It is really in a difficult position now. Even if it wants to cut more, it will be difficult to do so because of cultural constraint as Japanese companies typically loathe to layoff people.
The big issue is that the Koreans CURRENTLY own display, memory and processor design and production, therefore, to use youthful vernacular, have the rest of the industry by their dangly bits.
Until the A series processors, Apple were simply an industrial design and software house, same position Sony are in today, ironically! To get back in control Apple created their own processors, although are still in the hands of display vendors.
Sony will need to go back to their roots, or resort to the easy option that Sega chose, and become a content publisher. In fact, they already are!
And don't forget Panasonic too, who make superb hardware, yet just announced huge losses.
Both companies will need to invest in next generation display and processor technology else always be playing catchup with Korea, and soon, China!