The art of smartphone: silent innovation of Japanese giants, Japanese smartphone: the best brands in 2023

Japanese smartphone: the best brands in 2023

October 07, 2019 – 13:14 Sony announces the Xperia 8, a Japanese alternative to Xperia 10

The art of smartphone: silent innovation of Japanese giants

They are invisible but omnipresent. They are silent, but their echo resonates in every corner of the technological industry. They are the manufacturers of Japanese smartphones, the sleeping titans of the mobile phone industry. Their names are engraved in the Annals of the history of technology, and yet their products are as elusive as shadows. Why these giants, who once dominated the market, became spectra in the global technological arena ? Why do these masters of innovation seem to be behind while their influence is everywhere ?

Japanese smartphones manufacturers do not shine particularly by their sales figures and market share. Instead, they excel in the art of shadows, mystery and invisibility. Sharp, for example, seems to exist anywhere. Sony, meanwhile, has farewell to most of the markets, with the grace of a samurai withdrawing from the battle. Without forgetting Fujitsu, which, in a time as distant as dinosaurs, was a prosperous mobile phone manufacturer. And Panasonic ? Well, they also threw the sponge. The list is long: Pioneer, NEC, Toshiba, Hitachi…

Why these heroic pensions, ask yourself ? The iPhone dazzled and wrapped all Japanese manufacturers on their own territory. Its market share in Japan is almost 70 %.

It is ironic to think that once these Japanese companies reigned as masters on their domestic market with their valve phones, or those equipped with TV antenna. Yes, you read correctly.

Technological mastodons

But then what is the Ariane thread which connects groups like Sony, Sharp and Panasonic ? These are technological behemoths with research and development departments that have tens of years of experience, competence and know-how. They were leading the race for innovation, designing the first connected glasses, VR headsets, OLED screens, photo sensors in several tens of millions of pixels ..

And here is the icing on the cake: even if these brands are no longer at the top of the hit-Parade of popularity, they continue to make sparks in the field of technological innovation.

As proof, Sharp’s Aquos R8 PRO, freshly announced, offers a 1 inch sensor, a leica summicron lens and an OLED IGZO screen from 2000 Nits. Just that ! The Aquos R6, the Aquos R7 … The Japanese manufacturer has always detonated in R&D with the first 240 Hz smartphone, the first Borderless Smartphone … and even the first double notch smartphone. Aquos R6 had introduced a very large 1 inch sensor created in collaboration with Leica, before the Sony Xperia Pro-1. In addition, its pro Igzo Oled screen was also a first.

For its part, Sony unveiled its Xperia 1 V, with a 6.5 -inch screen in 21: 9 format, a 4K definition at 120 Hz, and a price that would sauté your banker to the ceiling.

This brings us to the burning question: why these technological giants, capable of creating such innovative products, fail to conquer significant market share ? The answer is as subtle as a haiku: these are showcase products, technological windows, which allow these companies to then sell their technology to Apple, Oppo, Vivo, Huawei, Motorola … and the list is long. In short, Japanese smartphones manufacturers are the chefs of technology, preparing refined dishes so that others taste them.

This Japanese paradox, as mysterious as the Haikus of Bashō

This Japanese paradox, as mysterious as the Haikus of Bashō, illustrates well the singularity of these manufacturers. They innovate, they create, they push the limits of technology, and yet their products are like shooting stars: brilliant, amazing, but ephemeral in the sky of industry. Instead of racing for the greatest number of sales, these companies seem to prefer the quest for technological excellence, a silent and lonely race towards innovation. Admittedly, their sales figures do not shudder the meters, but their influence in the industry is undeniable. Behind each iPhone, each Oppo, each vivo, hide technologies born from Japanese ingenuity.

These manufacturers seem to follow the principle of “mono no aware”, a sensitivity to the ephemeral. They create technological masterpieces intended to be replaced, to disappear to give way to new innovations. The iPhone has certainly dismissed Japanese manufacturers on their domestic market, but in return, they offered the industry a vision, technology, unrivaled know-how.

Let us celebrate these heroes of the shadow of technology, these samurai of innovation which, even if they are no longer on the front line on the battlefield of the market, continue to forge the weapons of the future. In the end, they may embody the spirit of the true craftsman: the one who creates for the simple pleasure of creating, to push the limits of his art, regardless of sales figures or popularity. And in this, they deserve not our mockery, but our deepest respect.

Japanese smartphones manufacturers are resisting, yes, but they do it in their own way. Not by conquering the world, but enlightening it with their innovations. Not shouting loud and clear, but whispering slowly behind the scenes of technology. Not by imposing their presence, but by fading to make way for innovation. And maybe this is the biggest lesson we can draw from this Japanese paradox.

A fascinating testimony of the way in which innovation and technological production are constantly in motion

The last decades have been marked by remarkable changes in the world technological landscape. If we retrace history, we realize that the center of technological production has migrated from one country to another, following a kind of “race for innovation”.

This constant evolution of the technological landscape is not only visible in electronics and smartphones, but also in other areas such as the photographic industry. In this regard, Japan has been a serious competitor in Germany, which has long dominated the world photography market. In 1960, for example, German industry produced 2.7 million cameras, compared to 1.9 million produced by Japan.

However, when it was exports to the United States, the figures were very different: the United States bought around 190,000 aircraft from the Germans, but bought 1.3 million aircraft from Japanese. American consumers turned to the Germans for the most sophisticated models, and to the Japanese for current quality products, which were however excellent.

In the 1980s, Japan had become the technological production locomotive, and it was nicknamed “the United States factory”. “Made in Japan” products were synonymous with quality and innovation, and Japanese brands like Sony, Panasonic and Sharp were leaders in the field of electronics. American companies massively relocated their production in Japan to take advantage of its technological expertise and its skilled workforce.

However, as Japan has developed and its production costs have increased, production has started to move to South Korea. In the late 1990s and early 2000s, South Korea took over and became the new technological production center. Companies like Samsung and LG have emerged as technology giants, and South Korea began to produce not only for the United States, but also for the whole world.

Then, as South Korea has acquired experience and became stronger economically, it began to sell more expensive products and to relocate its production. It was then that China entered the scene. In recent decades, China has become the world factory, producing a large part of world electronics. Chinese brands like Huawei, Oppo and Xiaomi have become global leaders in the field of smartphones.

This constant evolution testifies to an interesting cycle of knowledge transfer and technological expertise. Each time, the country which has become the world factory has acquired experience, launched its own brands, has become stronger economically and finally relocated its production, paving the way to a new country to take over. It is a fascinating testimony of the way in which innovation and technological production are constantly in motion, reflecting the global economic dynamics in constant evolution.

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Japanese smartphone: the best brands in 2023

Discover here all the news related to Japan and Japanese smartphones. A country far from lagging behind in terms of smartphone creation thanks to Sony. Find all the news and promotions concerning Japanese smartphones.

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September 30, 2019 – 11:31 am Sharp presents Aquos Zero2 in Japan

May 16, 2019 – 4:49 pm Sony present in Japan the Xperia ace

November 15, 2018 – 14:37 Sharp Aquos R2: the first “double notch” smartphone

September 20, 2018 – 4:30 p.m. Google deploys a loyalty program for the Play Store in Japan

January 31, 2018 – 10:00 am Sharp S3: a third Android One for the Japanese brand

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October 23, 2017 – 3:30 pm Sharp presents the Aquos R Compact

July 04, 2017 – 15:40 Sharp unveils its second Android One mobile: the Sharp X1

May 30, 2017 – 5:30 p.m. Samsung presents the Galaxy Feel in Japan

April 19, 2017 – 13:00 Sharp presents its new high -end model: Aquos R

March 22, 2017 – 4:45 pm Surprise: a third smartphone at Vaio (well almost) !

March 10, 2017 – 13:00 The Japanese start -up Nuans presents a new smartphone

November 25, 2016 – 18:54 Sharp unveils two Star Wars smartphones for Japan

October 19, 2016 – 12:00 LG offers the Japanese market a small waterproof version of the V20

October 12, 2016 – 5:43 PM Sharp presents a mini version of Aquos XX3

July 18, 2016 – 11:17 Lenovo present in Japan its first windows 10 mobile

July 06, 2016 – 12:37 Sharp unveils the first Android One mobile for Japan