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Businesses Displays Japan The Almighty Buck

Sharp Warns That It Might Collapse 284

angry tapir writes "Japan's Sharp, a major supplier of LCD displays to Apple and other manufacturers, has warned that it may not survive if it can't turn around its business. The Osaka-based manufacturer said there is "material doubt" about its ability to continue operating in its earnings report filed Thursday. Sharp added, however, that it still believes it can cut costs and secure enough credit to survive. Its IGZO technology for mobile displays is likely to be a key element of its business strategy."
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Sharp Warns That It Might Collapse

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  • by bogaboga ( 793279 ) on Sunday November 04, 2012 @11:07PM (#41876911)

    This would be an opportune time for Apple to buy Sharp, re-organize the beast then ramp up displays and other parts for its booming business. If Sharp collapses, Apple will be in trouble - guaranteed.

  • Lacking clarity (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Adammil2000 ( 797026 ) on Sunday November 04, 2012 @11:25PM (#41877017)
    Coincidentally, we laughed at the store yesterday noticing that the only fuzzy displays were the Sharp ones in comparison to the others. Can they be so ignorant of their product quality issues?
  • by StormReaver ( 59959 ) on Sunday November 04, 2012 @11:55PM (#41877175)

    This would be an opportune time for Apple to buy Sharp....

    This would be an even more opportune time for Samsung to buy Sharp.

  • by ne0n ( 884282 ) on Monday November 05, 2012 @01:11AM (#41877539) Homepage
    The problem, from Apple's perspective, is that Samsung is the only viable producer of top-quality displays. Only Samsung and LG can produce the volume necessary, and Samsung is openly hostile now that Apple's been trying to bend them over one too many times. So now they're stuck with crap SSDs (Toshiba) and crap IPS panels (LG) unless they pull a rabbit out of the hat. Keeping Sharp afloat with purchasing agreements would be the Microsoft move (a la the investment in Apple, early 90's) but Apple is more likely to buy Sharp and try to keep the entire supply chain in-house. It would take years for this one to bear fruit but, hasn't Apple been patient before? And they've got the cash to build out in a hurry.
  • by bloodhawk ( 813939 ) on Monday November 05, 2012 @02:08AM (#41877729)
    There are very few large scale LCD manufacturers. Arguably the 2 biggest names are Sharp and Samsung, Apple are actively pushing away from Samsung and looking to Sharp so it would be very nasty for apple. The collapse of Sharp would have a big impact on who makes your tablet, smartphone and television screens in future and potentially the market prices of those devices as shortages or lack of competition will potentially affect prices.
  • Sad (Score:5, Interesting)

    by drolli ( 522659 ) on Monday November 05, 2012 @02:30AM (#41877803) Journal

    Big Japanese mobile companies always take a long time to turn around if something happens. They all still don't understand why the iphone is successful since all the management level there was brought up in a time when NTT had a monopoly and the companies produced mobile phones nearly exclusively for NTT/docomo (imode), which in turn force fed the mobiles to the customers.

    I liked Sharps products, learned programming on a MZ-80B. I always wanted to buy a zaurus, one of the first linux-based PDAs, but it was mainly sold/available inside Japan. When i lived in Japanlater, i bought a sharp netwalker T1 (only available in Japan).

    The netwalker demonstrates all of Sharps shortcomings in a technically not so bad device:

    -Target the Japanese market only from the beginning

    -make no advertisements about the special features it has (e.g. standard usb host port, interesting pointing device layout)

    -make a half-assed decision of using Ubuntu on it (for *two* devices they used the ARM port of Ubuntu)

    -leave it unpolished, with easy to fix show-stopper bugs, trusting that the Japanese will always buy Sharp

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday November 05, 2012 @04:15AM (#41878215)

    because then Apple tells them to get bent, buys all their displays from someone else and Sharp goes under instantly.

    An electronics manufacturer I talked to was in a similar situation where a large customer pretty much said that they wanted things made cheaper or they would take their business elsewhere. Instead of shitting his pants he went over the numbers and regrettably informed the customer that he couldn't build things at the price they demanded. A few month later they got back and accepted his original price.

    Moral of the story?
    If you can't produce at the demanded price then chances are that your competition can't either.
    The customer is only right as long as he is willing to pay, if he doesn't want to pay he is no customer and you should spend your time on those who appreciate your services.

  • by Luckyo ( 1726890 ) on Monday November 05, 2012 @05:21AM (#41878453)

    1. No, not nearly enough unless they want to spend pretty much all of it. Sharp is huge, and selling to a foreigner would require massive amount of extra funds to essentially bribe a lot of japanese legislature.
    2. Sharp has problems with money flow due to current banking environment and crisis hitting its sales and profit margins hard, in addition to increasing competition. It's not really ready to collapse, that statement was most likely aimed at helping it secure low cost loans with governmental backing, as is the way of things in Japan.
    3. Expertise in question simply doesn't exist. This is what Sony tried once, threw a LOT of resources at the problem and failed in a spectacular margin. Biggest problem is completely different corporate culture, japanese and american simply do not mix.

    Many people nowadays think that money solves everything. It really doesn't. What money can do is support inefficiency until it runs out. But it won't fix the problem causing the drain.

  • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 ) * <mojo@world3.nBLUEet minus berry> on Monday November 05, 2012 @08:44AM (#41879273) Homepage Journal

    I own one, as well as a few other Plasmacluster devices.

    They are basically air purifiers that use a combination of filters and ion generation. Unlike older ion generators they don't produce ozone. The ions cause airborne particles to either fall to the ground or be neutralized (e.g. mould is killed).

    I use them to help control my allergies. They were really bad, especially at work. I find that the Plasmacluster on my desk, the one you linked to that I keep in my car and the two I have at home do reduce the symptoms quite a bit. Combined with medication I can breath more or less normally now. I tried Panasonic's Nanoe devices but didn't find them to be as effective.

    That sort of product is extremely popular in Japan, where several manufacturers have large ranges. Sharp went a bit nuts with theirs, adding ion generators to things like vacuum cleaners and washing machines. They do definitely work though - NHK did a test where they tested various product's ability to kill mould and found that some were quite effective.

    The only real down side is that they need humidity to work, generally 50% or more. Newer models often have a water tank so that they can humidify the environment up to around 60%.

  • by digitalsolo ( 1175321 ) on Monday November 05, 2012 @12:17PM (#41881537) Homepage
    Really? A good friend just finished customizing the programming on a 2013 Ford F-150 Ecoboost, and I have modified the software in my 2008 Corvette computer several times (kinda necessary when the engine/computer no longer live in a Corvette).

    There is much talk about this every time a new ECU comes out, but it is still (with very few exceptions) not the case yet. Every new ECU promises to be "locked" and unable to be edited, every new ECU is then cracked for modifications directly afterwards.

    Not to mention the fact that you can hook up a little bluetooth dongle from eBay (15 dollars) to your Android phone with a 5 dollar app and read all fault codes/statuses from the ECU directly. If anything, modern cars are EASIER to work on that old carb'd stuff. The only downside is that you can't just stare at it and guess, you actually need to learn what to do. Of course, that always should have been the case anyway.

All science is either physics or stamp collecting. -- Ernest Rutherford