Not that long ago, Japanese companies such as Sony, Panasonic, and Sharp were considered premium brands.
They made virtually everything in the consumer electronics world, from televisions to microwaves and digital music players. There seemed to be no way to stop their momentum. Their products often carried higher price tags to reflect their perceived quality, and people snapped them up.
"People used to have Sony homes," said Tony Costa, an analyst at Forrester Research. "You're just not seeing that any more."
These days, the Japanese consumer-electronics giants have largely been reduced to also-rans, many of … Read more