Panasonic is undoubtedly a global brand, Japan’s largest home appliance manufacturer, with revenue of $79.388 billion in 2010. However, when it comes mobile, they have deliberately reduced themselves to a local, but dominant brand. Apparently, Panasonic has not sold a mobile phone outside the Japanese market since 2005, however, it dominates that market, ranking as the Second mobile phone manufacture behind Sharp (I’m sure it has been a while anyone saw a sharp mobile phone around too).
Panasonic is now delving into the Smartphone market, planning to unveil its P-07C Android 2.3 (Gingerbread) powered, 4.3inch touch screen, and mobile TV enabled Smartphone into the market come 2012. This is plans to offer to various countries, of course starting with Japan.
It promises to be a battle for Panasonic but being who they are we can only expect them to stand up to the challenge.
One issue however that crossed my mind when I came across this article was why Panasonic and Sony have decided not to take on the world in the area of mobile technology. The issue was raised on a forbs tech blog and also on a NYTimes article, and their assumptions are enlightening. They believe this strange phenomenon is due to the fact that the Japanese mobile phone manufacturers employ mobile technologies that are too high for the global market, so they rather stay home and serve the high taste of the local Japanese and neighboring Asian countries. Another reason is the simple fact that their local market is large enough for them, with about 100million mobile users in Japan alone (Comparable to the population of Nigeria, the world’s fastest growing mobile market).
I like drawing lessons from everywhere and one jumps to me now: Why don’t we have Africa brands for the African market? Yes Ovim tablets is one, Zinox computers is another, but we need more. It’s about time more Africa and indeed Nigerian technology brands spring up and storm the African market, and it is also time Africans concentrate more on patronizing local brands as they spring up.
NO doubt, global brands have raised the stakes high, but not too high to meet up with, Local brands must come up with Quality products that can rival any other. I’ve had my eye on the iPAD for a while, but I seem to have lost interest on knowing there are local Android powered tablets, the only thing that is left to prove is their durability and quality. If that is settled then for me, it’s AWAY WITH THE iPAD.
Let’s have quality local brands, and let’s support them.