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Merger of Two Giants in Japanese Display Manufacturing

The news that NEC and Sharp, two major players in ‘Japan Inc’, are to create a joint venture is not terribly surprising. Both brands have been battling an increasingly competitive landscape for several years. According to Futuresource’s Worldwide Quarterly Tracking Services, in 2019 the brands had a combined volume share of 7.5% in the LCD market, and 5.1% in the projector market.

Their competition is moving west from Korea to China, with domestic Chinese brands now presenting the most significant threat due to their low price-points. The only option for brands not in a position to fight on price is to focus on the customer by incorporating relationship building into their sales approach, providing high-quality products and offering superior aftersales services.

The merger of NEC and Sharps’ offerings will enable both brands to adopt this strategy more effectively; NEC’s consultancy-led sales approach will no-doubt provide more opportunities for Sharp’s high-end solutions. Whilst Sharp’s focus on innovation will enable NEC’s broad portfolio to focus more on the lucrative high-end niches.

In short, the joint venture will no doubt prove to be a positive one but the threats that led to its creation are only set to grow. Dynamics in the display industry are shifting rapidly and whilst this may lead to further mergers between Japanese, and even Taiwanese companies, brands must be able to react swiftly, or risk being left behind.

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Claire Kerrison

About the author

Claire Kerrison

Claire Kerrison leads the Education team, overseeing Futuresource’s quarterly K-12 PC tracker and end-user research programs. Claire is closely involved in the formation and delivery of custom projects covering the EdTech sphere.

Claire joined Futuresource in 2011 from the University of Birmingham where she collaborated on a broad range of market tracking and strategic projects covering the Displays industry. Claire went on to lead the Displays team, with a focus on developments in the Front Projector market.

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