Tablets and smartphones seem to be an area of growing focus for Japanese companies, perhaps anxious to overtake the likes of Samsung and HTC.
TOKYO - The
mobility revolution, which proved so successful for Korean and Taiwanese
companies such as Samsung and HTC, is a focus of concern for Japanese companies
exhibiting here at the CEATEC conference.
Japan boasted an international reputation as a technology innovator, largely on
the strength of its hardware. However, the game has changed: Now the
combination of hardware and software into an integrated platform is what seizes
the consumer imagination. Apple proved a pioneer in the latter with its iOS
ecosystem, while Samsung and other companies have also followed this model.
companies aim to catch up. The CEATEC show floor is dotted with Android tablets
from Sony and Toshiba, although their presence is still minimal, compared with
what you see at a Consumer Electronics Show or CTIA event. Android smartphones
from the likes of Sony and Sharp are also drifting around on the floor, again
in relatively small numbers.
one executive, though, Japanese companies aim to grow that number of tablets
and smartphones in coming quarters-as well as exploit the trend in super-light
laptops. Intel-powered "ultrabooks" are a significant presence at CEATEC.
an interesting product at a lower price-point," Kaz Yoshida, president of Intel
Japan, told a media gathering during CEATEC. However, it didn't grow as much as
expected...in Japan, they care about performance." A more robust machine powered
by an Intel i5 or i7 processor, he added, is more in line with consumer
acknowledged that tablets are a growing market in which Intel will need to
proceed aggressively, if it wants to overcome other companies' early lead in
the space. "We need to catch up with that," he said. "We need to prepare the
that Japanese companies will eventually assert more of a presence in the tablet
market, which is currently dominated by the likes of Samsung. "Our OEMs that
manufacture PCs also manufacture cell phones for many years," he said. "We have
the ability to minimize. The combination of that is going to give them a unique
With regard to
the Japanese market, Intel is also focused on embedded processors in devices
like vending machines. As with the rest of the globe, Japanese PC sales remain
somewhat anemic, compared with mobile devices such as tablets and smartphones;
in light of that, it makes sense to try and exploit more unconventional
collective focus going forward could be more toward mobility, if only to keep abreast
of a global trend.
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Nicholas Kolakowski is a staff editor at eWEEK, covering Microsoft and other companies in the enterprise space, as well as evolving technology such as tablet PCs. His work has appeared in The Washington Post, Playboy, WebMD, AARP the Magazine, AutoWeek, Washington City Paper, Trader Monthly, and Private Air. He lives in Brooklyn, New York.