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  (Source: bestasiatravel.asia)
Panasonic will likely survive because it focuses on more than just consumer electronics

A credit rating agency said that Panasonic would likely survive longer than Sony after downgrading both electronics companies.

Credit rating agency Fitch recently lowered Panasonic's rating down two notches to BB, but cut Sony down three notches to BB minus. Other credit rating agencies have put them at the same level.

The reason for Fitch's credit ratings? It claims Panasonic has a "relatively stable consumer appliance business," such as refrigerators and washing machines, aside from just consumer electronics. Sony, on the other hand, is mainly depending on the extremely competitive consumer electronics market.

Right now, tech giants like Apple and Samsung have a strong hold on the electronics market, such as smartphones and tablets.

Sony's troubles largely stem from its failing TV business. It has seen eight straight years of quarterly losses, and last December, Sony decided to shake up its TV division by negotiating a buyout of its 50 percent manufacturing stake with Samsung in the LCD joint venture. It also split its TV division into three units consisting of sales of LCD TVs, outsourcing manufacturing to cheaper foreign facilities and developing future TVs.

To make matters worse, Sony reported a record annual loss of $5.7 billion USD in May 2012.

However, new Sony CEO Kazuo Hirai has been working to turn the company around since he took over in April 2012. In fact, he offered an entirely new plan for restructuring the company. A key idea behind the restructuring was to strengthen core businesses, including digital imaging, games and mobile. He also opted to take over the failing TV business, expand business in emerging markets, create new businesses and realign the business portfolio.

Just last month, Sony closed a factory in Japan and cut 2,000 jobs at its Tokyo headquarters.

While Hirai is trying to make Sony profitable again, Fitch said "most of their electronic business are loss making" and "appear to be overstretched."

Fitch said Panasonic, on the other hand, is focusing on areas other than consumer electronics like home appliances, lithium batteries, solar panels and automotive parts.

Source: Reuters



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RE: my analysis
By rdhood on 11/26/2012 10:47:45 AM , Rating: 1
quote:
I second that, the RX100 is a fantastic device


And you two show EXACTLY why Sony is failing. One can wander over to the AVS forums and see the same thing: lavish praise on Sony for a product that is 3x the cost of the average product in it's category!

If you are selling a compact camera today, you better not be selling for more than $200. Most people (not talking about photographers, but the average person taking pictures) finds it difficult to pay even $200 for what he/she think their phone already does well enough. Other people, like me, think that there are PLENTY of $200 cameras that take fantastic pictures such that there is no need for a $650 RX100 compact camera. If I am going to spend $650, I'd rather buy a used Nikon D7000!

You get my drift? There aren't enough audio/video purists/bigots around who appreciate that Sony might be 1% better than the competition and are willing to pay 300% of the price for an item that is 1% better than the competition.


RE: my analysis
By nikon133 on 11/26/2012 3:49:24 PM , Rating: 2
No, not really.

Out of RX100 I'm getting images of quality comparable to my good old Nikon D70.

Nikon has better per-pixel quality (less noise, mostly) but when you downsample RX100 20MP images to 6, 8 or even 10MP, noise cleans up nicely. I've been sending my friends (some of them owning various dSLRs) 6MP downsampled images from RX100 and native 6MP images from D70, both shoot in RAW, converted to JPG in Lightroom, no additional editing, and with EXIF data removed.

None of them could tell which photos were made with dSLR and which with compact.

Of course, my D70 is not latest and greatest, but I'm jet to see small sensor P&S that comes anywhere close to my D70. In fact, reason I got RX100 was that I was spoiled by D70 and disappointed with every P&S I have tried, and yet wanted to have pocketable camera for situations I don't want to drag D70 with me.

I'm still planning to buy new dSLR at some point.

So you see, I don't get your drift. You are drifting from the false point that RX100 is just over-glorified and overpriced average P&S, which it isn't. It isn't 1% better than $200 camera. It is significantly better than $200 cameras.

I'm just a hobbyist photographer. D70 still does fine for my needs, so I'm not over demanding. And I'm still finding RX100 a great value for the money. I'm confident a lot of other dSLR shooters will like it for the same reasons.

And speaking of which, why would one get a dSLR when $200 P&S can do "almost" as good? Isn't that, basically, your drift?


RE: my analysis
By rdhood on 11/27/2012 9:29:25 AM , Rating: 1
quote:
No, not really. Out of RX100 I'm getting images of quality comparable to my good old Nikon D70.


Yes, really. The issue is not what kind of picture YOU can get out of the camera. This could be the single, most fantastic compact camera in the world at this moment. The issue is that a $150 compact camera or camera phone is sufficient for about 95% of users. In the hands of these users, the crappy photographer wil take pictures just as badly with the RX100 as they do with their $150 compact camera.

You don't judge/compare a mass-market cameras by what the best photographer will do with it. Most people aren't that best photographer. If most people produce images that are more or less equivalent to images produced on a camera costing 25% as much, they will go with the cheaper alternative... and that would NOT be Sony.


RE: my analysis
By chemist1 on 11/27/2012 12:50:22 AM , Rating: 3
quote:
And you two show EXACTLY why Sony is failing.....You get my drift? There aren't enough audio/video purists/bigots around who appreciate that Sony might be 1% better than the competition and are willing to pay 300% of the price for an item that is 1% better than the competition.

This post, alas, illustrates exactly what's wrong with the level of discussion here on DT, on two levels. First, the fellow is criticizing my post about the RX100 using an argument about sales, without bothering to look up even basic sales figures! If he did, he would realize that the RX100 is selling well -- it has been in Amazon's top 100 in Camera and Photo for 167 days. Further, this is generally acknowledged as *the* top compact pocket camera, supplanting Canon's S95/100/110, resulting in lots of free laudatory press (which of course means free marketing). This connection between "Sony" and "state of the art," and the general buzz it has created in the compact camera market, is a marketer's dream, since the resulting halo effect sould boost sales of the RX100's lesser-priced brand mates.

Second, and more concerning, is the non-collegial tone. He makes it personal, saying "you two show EXACTLY why Sony is failing," instead of sticking to the substance and simply saying "I disagree because..." And let's please lose the gratuitous "audio/video purists/bigots" insult.

There are certainly reasons why Sony is failing, but it's not because of what they are doing with the RX100; I would argue, by contrast, is that this is the sort of product that used to keep Sony on top.


RE: my analysis
By rdhood on 11/27/2012 9:21:53 AM , Rating: 1
quote:
Second, and more concerning, is the non-collegial tone. He makes it personal, saying "you two show EXACTLY why Sony is failing," instead of sticking to the substance and simply saying "I disagree because..." And let's please lose the gratuitous "audio/video purists/bigots" insult. There are certainly reasons why Sony is failing, but it's not because of what they are doing with the RX100; I would argue, by contrast, is that this is the sort of product that used to keep Sony on top.


Keep on deluding yourself. Sony is obviously crumbling. People aren't (en masse) paying products that they no longer see as a value. Purists crow what great products they are, yet the Joe Sixpack just isn't buying them. Sony needs a monumental turn around and you people are stuck thinking this is a marketing problem.

Sony needs to create products that Joe Sixpack can 1) afford 2) want. Elite products, in and of themselves, don't cut it.


RE: my analysis
By aliasfox on 11/28/2012 11:24:47 AM , Rating: 2
rhood - I disagree wholeheartedly.

In the set of people I know, there are three types of picture takers: camera-phone, SLR, and the in-between crowd (which we'll get to).

- Out of convenience, people will shoot on their phone. It's always with them, and most of them have cameras that can make passable images on Facebook.

- People *want* SLR picture quality - in anything other than near-daylight, it is plain as the nose on your face that most point and shoots offer crap image quality in somewhat low light. Anything worse than ISO400 at f-3.0 and you're up a creek with a $150 Elph.

- Nobody wants to carry an SLR - a significant portion of the population has spent ~$500-1500 on an SLR, including many of my friends (some received as gifts). These cameras end up being left at home most of the time because they're too big and heavy. I have a coworker who has two Nikon bodies, but his XZ-1 is with him 3x as much. Another one has a Nikon and a m4/3 body, but carries around his RX100.

- Give people an option to have a picture that can start to approach SLR quality in a restaurant/bar/party scenario? People will listen, and they have. I carry an XZ-1, my gf carries a Lumix GF3. We both have friends that carry S90/S95s and other similar cameras. None of us do much more than vacation shooting and get-together shooting (well, the girls take lots of food pictures). We all paid $4-500 for our setups. The RX100, at a street price of only a little bit more, in a form factor as good as an S95, with picture quality as good as a GF3, would get a lot of attention next time we need/want to upgrade.

- I believe the segment that's at risk isn't the high end pocketable (a segment which every manufacturer has at least one entry right now), it's the low margin <$200 supercompacts - yes, the picture quality is better than a cameraphone, but is it worth the hassle when 'better than a cameraphone' is still going to get you crap in the scenarios you're most likely to be using it in? And with low margins, manufacturers have little incentive to actually improve this segment (faster lenses, larger sensors).


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