Mangle-a-trois: Taiwan’s Foxconn, Osaka’s flailing Sharp, and Korea’s Samsung

China and Apple, two wary giants that are strategically linked, have a menage of partners they need.

Russ Imrie August 2012

It’s messy.
China’s monster Foxconn factories, owned by a Taiwainese businessman, are crucial for the economy. Likewise, they are absolutely critical for Apple, of Cupertino, California.

Just as critical for them both then, is the survival of Osaka‘s Sharp, maker of the next-generation display technology  Apple is building into a new iPhone and a new iPad coming this fall. Sharp is hurting from a worldwide market decline in demand for TV displays–down about 7% globally and also the impact of the 2011 Tsunami and some devisive politics.

2011 Japan Tsunami impact map - creative commons

2011 Japan Tsunami impact map – creative commons

Is it as a not-quite-white knight that Foxconn is bailing out Sharp and its owner personally kicking in millions besides? Foxconn, despite Apple’s intentions, is unloved by its thousands of toiling drones…on June 5th, 1,000 rioted over a harsh reaction by company security and civil police to  a minor incident.

The high-value technologies Japan has the locked-in capacity for and expertise in have been eyed by Japan’s high-tech and wanna-be-high-tech competitors for decades. Is this more of a slide? Are we seeing further deterioration of Japan’s technology crown jewels from the Tsunami? Is this a grab or merely a necessary move so China’s workers and Apple’s coffers stay in the green?

Sent from iPhone

distant US Capitol dome

U.S. Capitol SOTU eve, 2011 – photo Russ Imrie

Russell Imrie is a  Networking and Content Specialist, webmaster and an American Indian blogger living in the Washington DC area.

Copyright © forever and 2012 by Russell Imrie

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