Wednesday, 31 August 2011

Toshiba, Hitachi and Sony to form LCD Monster

Toshiba tablet PCs

In another indication of the size of growth in mobile device and small tablet computing Toshiba, Hitachi and Sony have formed a new LCD display company. The actual details of the company show the complex mixture of risks and rewards, and public and private:

"They have hesitated to invest in the LCD business because of expectations that prices are likely to fall.

The company will be operated by Innovation Network Corporation of Japan (INCJ), a government-backed firm.

The companies hope to have integrated the businesses by early 2012."

BBC News - Toshiba, Hitachi and Sony to form LCD display company

'via Blog this'

So the very growth they anticipate in the market itself is a risk, as technology and rush to market are likely to reduce the price of LCD displays and other features in a mobile device. Japan's government has thus gotten involved to try to help the combination of these three massive firms in to creating LCD and not letting China and other developing economies have the market to themselves.

A key problem facing producers in the future, especially Apple and Microsoft is that Web 3.0 is going to be cheap Web. The drive to mobility and pervasive internet will break much of the trend to continual upgrade and expansion. Already the issue of more continual small scale interactions vs. video quality download is emerging in the Cloud. Web 3.0 will be a web of continual short interactions, with more and more use of HTML 5 over App development.

So where is there room to make money?

So far Apple has made a fortune bringing the web to you all the time. From the iPod (which gave us both the Internet of sound and the mobile internet) to the iPad (which broke an pretty obvious idea in to the public) Apple has made a massive amount of money presenting premium new products to innovate the Web 3.0 space. How much actual innovation is left before the market settles down is hard to say. But one the market matures it is harder and harder to see people agreeing to buy Apple products over Android for the extra money.

The $100 phone-tablet is clearly where the market is going. For the firm in Asia which figures how to make that at a profit the future will be great. But for the Apples, Blackberries, PC makers, and other firms dependent on people owning a PC and a Laptop and a work computer and a phone and a blackberry the idea that soon a single device will be able to run it all is pretty scary.

Asian governments are probably wise to work with massive firms to figure out ways to reduce the risk on this system.

As for Apple, Apple is more like a Hollywood company and an IT company: it is in the business of creating desires not satisfying them. To use a Apple tool is like seeing Star Wars for the first time, great special effects, you really love it, but just how productive is it? The Web 3.0 Lab sees the iPhone are really little more than the introduction to the Android, were we see the center of development right now.

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