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I know this is a Yahoo article, but it might be true.
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I saw this elsewhere yesterday.
I wonder now that Sony has a 10% stake in Olympus whether the Zeiko lenses will replace Sony's ?
Hopefully Sony will continue their arrangement with Zeiss, as they are good lenses.
Bear in mind that Zuiko lenses are mostly good,even the kit lenses, and some of their higher end ones are outstanding. It might be handy to have a choice of Zeiss or Zuiko though!
I don`t think Olympus make Zuiko lenses anymore
Quote: Is this a sign of things to come?
I rather hope so. Over=bloated multinational corporations do need to trim back substantially and fast and stop expecting the poor consumer to pay for their excesses.
In any branch of technological development, two or three companies at the leading edge specialising in what they are pre-eminent in is all that we need to drive progress and allow competition. Dozens of companies all employing thousands of staff, all trying to do the same thing, is not in our interests.
Actually I would have thought more companies pushing the boundaries to be far preferable over just one or two. When you've only a few companies not only is the job market potentially reduced, but you can also end up with them just countering or copying each other. You lose those niche market areas as the number of companies reduces and you can also end up with all kinds of backdoor agreements with running between them. Increase the number of companies and you increase the competition.
Whilst in theory competing companies should always be trying to better over the others, in reality they don't. Heck who recalls what happened a year or two back where the big chain supermarkets grouped up to agree to lower the price they paid farmers for milk.
What Sony are doing is cutting back in Japan and Europe, where wages are higher. I think you will find a lot of this will finish up in China.
A lot of my Nikon kit is already made in China and Thailand and my fisheye comes from S. Korea! So they have already seen the writing on the wall. Japan has been a high cost area for some time. Chinese workers (particularly those working in the Apple producing factories) are already deciding they don't want to work for peanuts anymore, so where next? Somewhere really cheap? Bulgaria, Romania, Spain, UK?
I do not think you need to work about movement of manufacturing to China etc, where it was sensible to do it has already been done, which is why a lot of the lower cost cameras (virtually all brands) come from Taiwan and China, while the more high tech higher end lower volume pats come from China. That movement already happened a few years back but we can see the trend reversing and more electronics manufacturing is coming back to Europe (after all when labour in a quality item is less than 10% of the cost and transport plus labour costs are rising why would you send a product half way round the world with all that locked in money and loss to cash flow)
This story is more about how Sony has fallen from its position of a technology leader (it is far broader than cameras) and has not made wise investments and has squandered a lot of R&D and importantly market share.
So they are running out of cash and have to make some very tough decisions. the buying of shares in Olympus looks like a poor short term decision, not because of the camera business but more for the more important medical business. Even then they only project to make 1B$ in 8 years time from this, and Sony have spent more than that this year in acquiring medical companies. The long game is good, but Sony are running out of time and their financial metrics are going bad, so they need to make cash. A quick way to do this is to cut corp HQ staff, and also R&D as long as they focus where they make cuts.
As I said its far bigger than cameras which is the smaller and perhaps trivial part of this. Its the Playstation group having lost its way and lead. Its the TV section being a disaster, its the phones loosing a vast % of market share in a growing market, its the Audio stuff. Apple having brought the (in Sony language) disruptive products to the market so portable players and phones and top end computing devices Apple stole from Sony.
As for one company or many, you do not want one or two companies dominating you want a few competing as they drive each other forwards. Perversely you do not want hundreds competing as you drive the price down (many photography positions fall into the latter category). So as ever you want balance. But it is normal for companies to rise get big, loose their way or market, collapse and make way for new ones. It is just getting to be a very fast cycle in the electronics industry. Look how fast Blackberry RIM rose and fell. Nokia are in a similar category. Apple are on the top but if history is a guide they will fall again as they did in the past.
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