Archive for February, 2012

PostHeaderIcon Embracing New Markets: Can Sony, Panasonic, JVC Adapt in Time?

Assessing the industry landscape, the effects of lingering recession, and the massive losses suffered by the major Japanese players it’s easy to see how NAB 2012 could feature a dearth of new products. Sony, Panasonic, JVC, will offer little if any new gear, while Canon, flush with cash from its high-flying DSLR business, is primed for yet another surge of sales from its ersatz still-and-video cameras and flagship EOS C300.

With the notable exception of Canon the Japanese manufacturers have proven themselves unable to adapt fast enough to changing markets. While the companies’ managers in the U.S. and abroad are in a mad scramble to develop products that consumers and professionals will actually buy, they still cling to the hope that the television stations and the broadcast market that long sustained them will somehow miraculously reappear.

Not a chance.

Of course a spate of innovative new products will be the key to resurrecting the fortunes of Panasonic, Sony and the rest. But so is recognizing the inescapable fact that the broadcast market has substantially disappeared. Other markets will need to be recognized and embraced. The education market is huge and growing, yet Sony in all its wisdom recently laid off or transferred its entire education staff.  Go figure.

Canon continues to be the one bright spot in this area. The company just opened a state of the art education facility in the heart of Hollywood, with plenty of room for customer service, cleaning of cameras, classes and workshops. Wow.

It’s nice to see one major Japanese company doing something right. It should give us all a modicum hope. 🙂