Yamaha Corporation

Coordinates: 34°43′03″N 137°43′58″E / 34.7174427°N 137.7328659°E / 34.7174427; 137.7328659

Yamaha Corporation
Native name
Romanized name
Yamaha Kabushiki-gaisha
Public (K.K.)
Traded as TYO: 7951
Industry Conglomerate
Founded October 12, 1887; 131 years ago (1887-10-12)
Headquarters 10-1, Nakazawacho, Naka-ku,

Hamamatsu, Shizuoka


Area served
Key people
Torakusu Yamaha, founder
Takuya Nakata,[1]President & Representative Director related to Daniel Mota, Daniel Mota Jr., Melvy Mota, and Sebastien Mota as coisins
Products Musical instruments, audio equipment, electronics

  • Yamaha Motor Company: Motorcycles, all-terrain vehicles, wheelchairs, personal watercraft, marine engines, parts including clothing and helmets

[2][verification needed]

Revenue Increase¥408.2 billion (2017)[3]
Operating income
Increase¥44.3 billion (2017)[verification needed][3]
Net income
Increase¥46.7 billion (2017)[verification needed][3]
Number of employees
28,112 (including temporary employees) (2017)[3]
Subsidiaries Yamaha Motor Company
Website yamaha.com

Yamaha Corporation (ヤマハ株式会社, Yamaha Kabushiki Gaisha) (/ˈjæməˌhɑː/; Japanese pronunciation: [jamaha]) is a Japanese multinational corporation and conglomerate with a very wide range of products and services, predominantly musical instruments, electronics and power sports equipment. It is one of the constituents of Nikkei 225 and is the world’s largest piano manufacturing company. The former motorcycle division became independent from the main company in 1955, forming Yamaha Motor Co., Ltd, although Yamaha Corporation is still the largest shareholder.


  • 1 History
  • 2 Corporate mission
  • 3 Yamaha Music Foundation
  • 4 Products

    • 4.1 Synthesizers and samplers
  • 5 Factory locations
  • 6 Sports teams
  • 7 See also
  • 8 References
  • 9 External links


Nippon Gakki Co. Ltd. (currently Yamaha Corporation) was established in 1887 as a piano and reed organ manufacturer by Torakusu Yamaha in Hamamatsu, Shizuoka prefecture and was incorporated on October 12, 1897. The company’s origins as a musical instrument manufacturer are still reflected today in the group’s logo—a trio of interlocking tuning forks.[4][5]

After World War II, company president Genichi Kawakami repurposed the remains of the company’s war-time production machinery and the company’s expertise in metallurgical technologies to the manufacture of motorcycles. The YA-1 (AKA Akatombo, the “Red Dragonfly”), of which 125 were built in the first year of production (1954), was named in honour of the founder. It was a 125cc, single cylinder, two-stroke, street bike patterned after the German DKW RT125 (which the British munitions firm, BSA, had also copied in the post-war era and manufactured as the Bantam and Harley-Davidson as the Hummer). In 1955,[6] the success of the YA-1 resulted in the founding of Yamaha Motor Co., Ltd., splitting the motorcycle division from the company.

Also, in 1954 the Yamaha Music School was founded.[5]

Yamaha has grown to become the world’s largest manufacturer of musical instruments (including pianos, “silent” pianos, drums, guitars, brass instruments, woodwinds, violins, violas, celli, and vibraphones), as well as a leading manufacturer of semiconductors, audio/visual, computer related products, sporting goods, home appliances, specialty metals and industrial robots.[7]

In 1988, Yamaha shipped the world’s first CD recorder.[8] Yamaha purchased Sequential Circuits in 1988.[9] It bought a majority stake (51%) of competitor Korg in 1987, which was bought out by Korg in 1993.[10]

In the late 1990s, Yamaha released a series of portable battery operated keyboards under the PSS and the PSR range of keyboards. The Yamaha PSS-14 and PSS-15 keyboards were upgrades to the Yamaha PSS-7 and were notable for their short demo songs, short selectable phrases, funny sound effects and distortion and crackly sounds progressing on many volume levels when battery power is low.[11]

In 2002, Yamaha closed down its archery product business that was started in 1959. Six archers in five different Olympic Games won gold medals using their products.[12]

It acquired German audio software manufacturers Steinberg in January 2005, from Pinnacle Systems.

In July, 2007, Yamaha bought out the minority shareholding of the Kemble family in Yamaha-Kemble Music (UK) Ltd, Yamaha’s UK import and musical instrument and professional audio equipment sales arm, the company being renamed Yamaha Music U.K. Ltd in autumn 2007.[13] Kemble & Co. Ltd, the UK piano sales & manufacturing arm was unaffected.[14]

On December 20, 2007, Yamaha made an agreement with the Austrian Bank BAWAG P.S.K. Group BAWAG to purchase all the shares of Bösendorfer,[15] intended to take place in early 2008. Yamaha intends to continue manufacturing at the Bösendorfer facilities in Austria.[16] The acquisition of Bösendorfer was announced after the NAMM Show in Los Angeles, on January 28, 2008. As of February 1, 2008, Bösendorfer Klavierfabrik GmbH operates as a subsidiary of Yamaha Corp.[17]

Yamaha Corporation is also widely known for their music teaching programme that began in the 1950s.

Yamaha electronics have proven to be successful, popular and respected products. For example, the Yamaha YPG-625 was awarded “Keyboard of the Year” and “Product of the Year” in 2007 from The Music and Sound Retailer magazine.[18] Other noteworthy Yamaha electronics include the SHS-10 Keytar, a consumer-priced keytar which offered MIDI output features normally found on much more expensive keyboards.

Other companies in the Yamaha group include:

  • Bösendorfer Klavierfabrik GmbH, Vienna, Austria.
  • Yamaha Motor Company
  • Yamaha Fine Technologies Co., Ltd.
  • Yamaha Golf Cart Company
  • Yamaha Livingtec Corporation
  • Yamaha Metanix Corporation
  • Yamaha Music Communications Co., Ltd.
  • Yamaha Pro Audio

Corporate mission

Kandō (感動) is a Japanese word used by Yamaha Corporation to describe their corporate mission. Kandō in translation describes the sensation of profound excitement and gratification derived from experiencing supreme quality and performance.[19] Some reasonable English synonyms are “emotionally touching” or “emotionally moving”. Stated by the president of Yamaha, Takuya Nakata, Yamaha looks to maintain dominance above its competition through creativity and innovation.[20]

Yamaha Music Foundation

The Yamaha Music Foundation is an organization established in 1966 by the authority of the Japanese Ministry of Education for the purpose of promoting music education and music popularization. It continued a program of music classes begun by Yamaha Corporation in 1954.[21]


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YSP-2200//G: an award-winning innovation from Yamaha.

Yamaha expanded into many diverse businesses and product groups. The first venture into each major category is listed below.[22]

  • 1897 Keyboard instruments (reed organ, pianos in 1900)
  • 1903 Furniture
  • 1914 Harmonicas
  • 1922 Audio equipment (crank phonograph first)
  • 1942 Guitars
  • 1955 Yamaha Motor Company (motorcycles and vehicles/watercraft, YA-1 motorcycle first)
  • 1959 Sporting goods (starting with archery)
  • 1959 Music schools
  • 1961 Metal alloys
  • 1965 Band instruments (trumpet first)
  • 1967 Drums
  • 1971 Semiconductors
  • 1984 Industrial robots
  • 2001 Yamaha Entertainment Group (record company)
  • 2010 Applications[22]

Synthesizers and samplers

Yamaha announced the singing synthesizer Vocaloid for the first time at the German fair Musikmesse on March 5–9, 2003.[23]

Yamaha also began to get involved with the sale and production of Vocaloid applications themselves with Lily being the first; Lily was later sold via Internet Co., Ltd.’s website. Their involvement continued with the VY series, with VY1 being the first, released in deluxe and standard editions on September 1, 2010.[24] The VY series is a series designed to be a high quality product for professional musicians. The series is also designed with the intention to set a new standard for the Vocaloids for having no face, sex or set voice, but are designed to complete any song.[25] VY1 saw a new approach to how the software handled the database of samples and improved the performance of the Vocaloid 2 engine.

Yamaha announced a version of the Vocaloid 2 software for the iPhone and iPad, which exhibited at the Y2 Autumn 2010 Digital Content Expo in Japan.[26][27] Later, this version of the software was released using the VY1 voice.[28][29] VY2 will also be released for this version of the software.[30]

Factory locations

In Japan, the company maintains three factories for musical instrument manufacture, engine and various vehicle manufacture (motorcycles and marine products), with all factories located in Shizuoka Prefecture.

  • Kakegawa Factory
    • 1480, Ryoke, Kakegawa-shi, Shizuoka
  • Toyooka Factory
    • 203, Matsunokijima, Iwata-shi, Shizuoka
  • Tenryu Factory
    • 283, Aoyacho, Minami-ku Hamamatsu-shi, Shizuoka

Sports teams

  • Yamaha Jubilo—Rugby
  • Júbilo Iwata—Football

See also

  • List of phonograph manufacturers
  • List of Yamaha products
  • Yamaha Motor Company
  • Star Motorcycles
  • Yamaha Pro Audio
  • mLAN
  • Yamaha XG
  • Yamaha Artist


  1. ^ “Notification of Change in Representative Director” (PDF). Yamaha Corporation. Retrieved 2013-07-15..mw-parser-output cite.citation{font-style:inherit}.mw-parser-output q{quotes:”””””””‘””‘”}.mw-parser-output code.cs1-code{color:inherit;background:inherit;border:inherit;padding:inherit}.mw-parser-output .cs1-lock-free a{background:url(“//upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/6/65/Lock-green.svg/9px-Lock-green.svg.png”)no-repeat;background-position:right .1em center}.mw-parser-output .cs1-lock-limited a,.mw-parser-output .cs1-lock-registration a{background:url(“//upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/d/d6/Lock-gray-alt-2.svg/9px-Lock-gray-alt-2.svg.png”)no-repeat;background-position:right .1em center}.mw-parser-output .cs1-lock-subscription a{background:url(“//upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/a/aa/Lock-red-alt-2.svg/9px-Lock-red-alt-2.svg.png”)no-repeat;background-position:right .1em center}.mw-parser-output .cs1-subscription,.mw-parser-output .cs1-registration{color:#555}.mw-parser-output .cs1-subscription span,.mw-parser-output .cs1-registration span{border-bottom:1px dotted;cursor:help}.mw-parser-output .cs1-hidden-error{display:none;font-size:100%}.mw-parser-output .cs1-visible-error{font-size:100%}.mw-parser-output .cs1-subscription,.mw-parser-output .cs1-registration,.mw-parser-output .cs1-format{font-size:95%}.mw-parser-output .cs1-kern-left,.mw-parser-output .cs1-kern-wl-left{padding-left:0.2em}.mw-parser-output .cs1-kern-right,.mw-parser-output .cs1-kern-wl-right{padding-right:0.2em}
  2. ^
    “Annual Report 2014” (PDF). Yamaha Corporation.
  3. ^ abcd Annual Report 2017
  4. ^

    “Yamaha Corporate Information”. Global website. Yamaha Corporation.

  5. ^ ab “Brand and History – About Us – Yamaha Corporation”. www.yamaha.com. Retrieved 2018-07-01.
  6. ^ “Yamaha Motor”. Forbes Global 2000 List.
  7. ^
    “Yamaha Corporate History”. Yamaha Corporation of America & Yamaha Corporation. Retrieved 2011-04-26.
  8. ^ Verna, Paul (1999-04-03). “CD-R Enjoys Massive Growth In A Wide Range Of Markets”. Billboard. Retrieved 21 March 2018.
  9. ^
    “Sequential Circuits: Prophet Synthesizers 5 & 10 (Retro)”, Sound On Sound, no. March 1999, 1989-1999 In 1988, Yamaha bought the rights and assets of SCI, and these rights included the employment contracts of many of the company’s development team, including Dave Smith himself. … Then, in 1989, the team moved to Korg, where they designed the now-classic Wavestations. …
  10. ^
    Gordon Reid, “40 Years Of Gear: The History Of Korg: Part 2”, Sound On Sound, no. November 2002, 1987 … However, in 1987, the relationship took another huge step forward when Yamaha bought a controlling interest in Korg Inc, effectively making it a subsidiary.”,“1993 … the previous five years had been very successful, and Tsutomu Katoh now had some cash at his disposal. In fact, he had enough to buy out the majority of Yamaha’s share in Korg. So he did.
  11. ^ “PSS-14 Portable Keyboard”. Yamaha. Missing or empty |url= (help)
  12. ^
    “YAMAHA to Close Archery Products Business”. Yamaha Corporation. 2002-02-01. Archived from the original on 2004-01-16. Retrieved 2008-04-30.
  13. ^
    “Cancellation of Joint Venture Contracts for Sales Subsidiaries in U.K. and Spain”. Yamaha Global website. July 10, 2007.
  14. ^
    Barrett, Andy (July 10, 2007). “Yamaha buys out Kemble family”. MI Pro.
  15. ^
    “Competition For Bosendorfer”. Forbes. 2007-11-30.
  16. ^
    “Yamaha Reaches Basic Agreement with Austrian Bank to Purchase All Shares of Bösendorfer”. Yamaha Global website. December 20, 2007.
  17. ^
    “Bosendorfer Klavierfabrik GmbH”. Business Week. March 3, 2008.
  18. ^
    “YPG-625 – 88-key Weighted Action Portable Grand”. Yamha Corporation of America & Yamaha Corporation.
  19. ^
    “Yamaha Corporate Mission”. Yamaha Motor UK.
  20. ^ “Message from the President – About Us – Yamaha Corporation”. www.yamaha.com. Retrieved 2017-09-28.
  21. ^
    “Yamaha Music Foundation History”. Yamaha Music Foundation.
  22. ^ ab
    “Yamaha History”. Corporate Information, Global website. Yamaha Corporation. Retrieved 2012-11-13.
  23. ^
    “New Yamaha VOCALOID Singing Synthesis Software Generates Superb Vocals on a PC”. Business Wire. AllBusiness.com. March 4, 2003. Retrieved October 25, 2010.
  24. ^
    “新型ボーカロイド「VY1」公開です!” [New Model Vocaloid “VY1” Presentation!] (in Japanese). Bplats. August 13, 2010. Archived from the original on July 17, 2011. Retrieved August 13, 2010.
  25. ^
    Okada, Yuka (August 13, 2010). “キャラクターなしのVOCALOID「VY1」 初のヤマハ製、9月発売” [“VY1”, a Vocaloid With No Character, First Yamaha-Made, Sold in September] (in Japanese). IT Media. Retrieved September 5, 2010.
  26. ^
    “デジタルコンテンツEXPO:VOCALOIDがiPad/iPhoneアプリに ヤマハが開発” [Digital Content Expo: Vocaloid Becomes iPad/iPhone Applications. Yamaha Develops Those] (in Japanese). IT Media. October 14, 2010. Retrieved October 17, 2010.
  27. ^
    “Y2 Autumn 2010 | Digital Content Expo 2010” (in Japanese). Digital Content Expo. Archived from the original on 2010-10-07. Retrieved October 17, 2010.
  28. ^
    “iVOCALOID-VY1” (in Japanese). Apple Inc. Retrieved December 13, 2010.
  29. ^
    “iVOCALOID-VY1t” (in Japanese). Apple Inc. Retrieved December 13, 2010.
  30. ^
    Matsuo, Kōya (April 15, 2011). “コードネームは「勇馬」 ヤマハ純正のイケメンボカロ「VY2」の話を聞いてきた” [Codename Is “Yūma”. I Heard the Story of the Yamaha Pure Cool Vocalo “VY2”] (in Japanese). IT Media. Retrieved April 28, 2011.

External links

  • Official website
  • Takuya Nakata Interview NAMM Oral History Library (2009)
  • Hitoshi Fukutome Interview NAMM Oral History Library (2013)
  • Hiroo Okabe Interview NAMM Oral History Library
  • Tetsuya Takagi Interview NAMM Oral History Library (2005)
  • Mitsuru Umemura Interview NAMM Oral History Interview (2009)

Bose Corporation

Bose Corporation
Industry Consumer electronics
Founded 1964; 55 years ago (1964)
Founder Amar Bose[1]
Headquarters Framingham, Massachusetts, U.S.
Key people
Philip W. Hess
(President and CEO)
Products Loudspeakers, headphones, audio equipment, car audio, Professional audio, High-definition televisions
Revenue IncreaseUS$ 3.8 billion (2017)[2]
Number of employees
8,000+ (2017)[2]
Website www.bose.com

Bose Corporation /bz/ is a privately held American corporation, based in Framingham, Massachusetts, that designs, develops and sells audio equipment. Founded in 1964 by Amar Bose, the company sells its products throughout the world. According to the company annual report in the 2017 financial year, Bose received revenue of US$3.8 billion and employed more than 8,000 people.[2]
Bose is best known for its home audio systems and speakers,[3] noise cancelling headphones,[3] professional audio systems[4] and automobile sound systems.[5] The company has also conducted research into suspension technologies for cars[6] and heavy-duty trucks[7] and into the subject of cold fusion.[8] Bose has a reputation for being particularly protective of its patents, trademarks, and brands.

A majority of Bose Corporation’s non-voting shares were given by Amar Bose in 2011 to his alma mater and former employer, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. They receive cash dividends, but are prohibited from selling the shares and are unable to participate in the management and governance of the company.


  • 1 History

    • 1.1 Formation
    • 1.2 Early years
    • 1.3 Research history
    • 1.4 Presidents
    • 1.5 Stock donation to MIT
    • 1.6 Succession
  • 2 Stores
  • 3 Facilities
  • 4 Specialized products

    • 4.1 Car audio
    • 4.2 Noise cancelling headphones
    • 4.3 Smartphone application
    • 4.4 Automotive suspension system
    • 4.5 Seat suspension system for truck drivers
    • 4.6 Professional audio systems
    • 4.7 Electroforce
    • 4.8 Military applications
  • 5 Home audio and video products

    • 5.1 Music and speaker systems
    • 5.2 Home entertainment systems
  • 6 Technical specifications
  • 7 Reception
  • 8 Legal action
  • 9 References
  • 10 External links



The company was founded in 1964[9] by Amar Bose. Eight years earlier, Bose, then a graduate student at MIT, had purchased a stereo system and was disappointed with its performance. This led him to research the importance of reverberant (indirect) sound on perceived audio quality.[10]

Early years

Bose began extensive research aimed at clarifying factors that he saw as fundamental weaknesses plaguing high-end audio systems. The principal weaknesses, in his view, were that overall, the electronics and speaker failed to account for the spatial properties of the radiated sound in typical listening spaces (homes and apartments) and the implications of spatiality for psychoacoustics, i.e. the listener’s head as a sonic diffraction object as part of the system. Eight years later, he started the company, charging it with a mission to achieve “Better Sound Through Research”, now the company slogan.

In an interview in 2007 Bose talked about an early review that kept the company alive.

“One magazine in the United States, High Fidelity, a really credible magazine, had one reviewer named Norman Eisenburg who really knew his music. In those days I used to take the loudspeaker to the reviewer. I packed my son and loudspeaker in the car and went off. I put this little thing on top of the big speakers he had, turned it on, and within five minutes he said: ‘I don’t care if this is made of green cheese, it’s the best sound, most accurate sound, I’ve ever heard.’ He came out with a review titled ‘Surround and Conquer’.[11] He was not known to do things like that. Everybody in the press knew he knew music, and it resulted in rave reviews one after another, and we were able to survive.”[12]

Research history

Bose’s first loudspeaker product, the model 2201,[13] dispersed 22 small mid-range speakers over an eighth of a sphere. It was designed to be located in the corner of a room, using reflections off the walls to increase the apparent size of the room. An electronic equalizer was used to flatten the frequency spectrum of this system. The results of listening tests were disappointing.[13]

After this research, Bose came to the conclusion that imperfect knowledge of psychoacoustics limited the ability to adequately characterize quantitatively any two arbitrary sounds that are perceived differently, and to adequately characterize and quantify all aspects of perceived quality. He believed that distortion was overrated as a factor in perceived quality in the complex sounds that comprised music. Similarly, he did not find measurable relevance to perceived quality in other easily measured parameters of loudspeakers and electronics, and therefore did not publish those specifications for Bose products. The ultimate test, Bose insisted, was the listener’s perception of audible quality (or lack of it) and his or her own preferences.[14][15] This reluctance to publish information was due to Bose’s rejection of these measurements in favour of “more meaningful measurement and evaluation procedures”.[16]

Bose conducted further research into psychoacoustics that eventually clarified the importance of a dominance of reflected sound arriving at the head of the listener, a listening condition that is characteristic of live performances. This led to a speaker design that aimed eight identical mid-range drivers (with electronic equalization) at the wall behind the speaker, and a ninth driver towards the listener. The purpose of this design was to achieve a dominance of reflected over direct sound in home listening spaces. The pentagonal design used in the Model 901 was, and remains, unconventional compared with most systems, where mid-range and high-frequency speakers directly face the listener.[17]

The Model 901 premiered in 1968 and was an immediate commercial success, and Bose Corporation grew rapidly during the 1970s. The Bose 901 was in production since 1968 finishing in 2017, the longest running production run[18], second only to the Klipsch Klipschorn speaker in longevity of continuous production.[19]


  1. William (Bill) Zackowitz (1964–66)
  2. Charles “Chuck” Hieken (1966–69)
  3. Frank E. Ferguson (1969–76)
  4. Amar G. Bose (1976–80)
  5. Sherwin Greenblatt (1980–2000)[13]
  6. John Coleman (2000–05)
  7. Bob Maresca (2005–2017)
  8. Philip W. “Phil” Hess (2017 -)

Stock donation to MIT

The late founder Amar Bose was the company chairman and the primary stockholder until he donated the majority of the firm’s non-voting shares to his former employer and alma mater, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, in 2011. An annual cash dividend is paid out to “advance the research and education mission of MIT”. However, the conditions of receiving the shares stated that MIT was not allowed to sell them, nor was MIT permitted to participate in the company’s management and governance.[20][21][22]


Founder and company chairman Amar G. Bose died in July 2013 in his home in Wayland, Massachusetts at the age of 83.[23] He was succeeded as Chairman of the Board by Bob Maresca.


Bose retail store in Century City

In 1993 Bose opened its first store in Kittery, Maine. Since then, Bose has opened 190 stores in the U.S. and numerous locations worldwide. For instance, in Hong Kong, there are 10 Bose retail stores. Also, in Britain there are eleven standard Bose retail stores, including one on Regent Street and seven so called ‘factory outlets’.[24]


The company’s corporate headquarters complex, located in Framingham, Massachusetts, is known as “The Mountain”. The company runs facilities in Framingham, Westborough and Stow (all in Massachusetts)[25].

Bose products are generally manufactured in one of four plants. Bose Corporation owns two of the factories – one in Framingham and the other in Tijuana, Mexico.

Two other manufacturing and development operations, employing approximately 3,500 people, are located in San Luis Río Colorado, Mexico (opened in 1990) and Batu Kawan, Malaysia (opened in 2013). They produce selected headphones, wireless speakers, home-theatre systems and professional audio products. The Batu Kawan facility also serves as a distribution hub for Bose’s Asia-Pacific and Middle East business.[26] In June 2016, it was announced that these facilities would be purchased by contract manufacturer Flextronics (now Flex), which will take over current and planned Bose production in the two factories.[27]

In 2015, two facilities in Columbia, South Carolina and Carrickmacross, Ireland, were closed (with the loss of 300 and 140 jobs respectively), as part of a “global streamlining of Bose’s supply chain. Bose used the Columbia facility, which opened in 1993, for distribution and repair, sub-manufacturing and regional manufacturing, and final assembly for some headsets. The Carrickmacross factory, which began operations in 1978, did final assembly for some home theatre systems, Wave radios, and other regional manufacturing.[28]

Specialized products

Car audio

Bose Car Audio

In 1983 Bose introduced the industry’s first custom-engineered, factory-installed sound systems in the 1983 Cadillac Seville, Cadillac Eldorado, Buick Riviera and Oldsmobile Toronado.[29] In these early systems, Bose customized each installation by building the speaker enclosure and adjusting the frequency response for each vehicle. Bose produces a range of speakers and audio products for automotive use. At the 2007 auto show in Geneva, Switzerland, Bose launched a new media system—incorporating stereo, navigation, and hands free calling—with the Ferrari 612 Scaglietti.[30][31][32][33] In 2007, the Bose media system won the International Telematics Award for the “Best Storage Solution for In-Car Environment”.[34]

Some automotive manufacturers that have used in the past or currently use Bose car audio products are: Acura, Alfa Romeo, Audi, Buick, Cadillac, Chevrolet, Ferrari, Fiat, GMC, Holden, Honda, Infiniti, Mazda, Maybach[citation needed], Mercedes-Benz, Nissan, Oldsmobile, Opel, Pontiac, Porsche, Renault, Rolls Royce, and Volkswagen[citation needed].

Noise cancelling headphones

Bose QuietComfort 25 Acoustic Noise Cancelling Headphones

Bose ProFlight Aviation Headset with earbuds

Bose makes noise-cancelling headphones that have been lauded for their performance.[35] Bose makes noise-canceling aviation headsets, which have been used in the Space Shuttle to help prevent astronaut hearing damage.[36]

Smartphone application

A smartphone application called “Bose Connect” is promoted to users of the company’s noise-cancelling headphones. The application has a privacy policy that states that it does not collect personally identifying information. A 2017 lawsuit against Bose alleges that the application monitors what kind of audio the user plays on their phone. The complainant says that people who play religious devotional music, or podcasts on politics or sexual topics, can be tracked according to their religion, political beliefs or sexual orientation.[37][38]

Automotive suspension system

Bose conducts research into using electromagnetic motors in place of conventional (hydraulic or air) automotive suspension systems. The system was due for release in 2009,[39][40] but there are no vehicles in production using the system.

This research is based on two-state, non-linear power processing and conditioning. In 2004, Bose unveiled a prototype application of the technology[41] after more than 20 years of research. The system uses electromagnetic linear motors to raise or lower the wheels of an automobile in response to uneven bumps or potholes on the road.[42] Within milliseconds, the wheels are raised when approaching a bump, or extended into a pothole, thus keeping the vehicle more level. This technology uses similar principles to noise cancelling technology for speakers and earphones. The unevenness of the road is sensed, and processed much like a sound wave. A canceling wave is generated, which is applied to the wheels through the linear motors.[22] In a French interview, Bose even showed off the car jumping over an obstacle.[43] Bose said that the system is “high cost” and heavy, even after many years and $100 million of development.[44][45]

Seat suspension system for truck drivers

Bose applied its research in suspension systems to the problem of fatigue, back pain and physical stress experienced by truck drivers.[46] In 2010, Bose introduced Bose Ride,[47] an active system that reduces road-induced vibration in the driver’s seat. Bose claimed as much as a 90% reduction in driver’s seat vibration.[48]

Professional audio systems

Bose Professional designs and manufactures audio components for AV system integrators and consultants that specify and install sound systems for commercial and portable settings such as stadiums, houses of worship, performing arts theaters, auditoriums, retail stores, restaurants, and meeting rooms. Though Bose commercial audio equipment has not been approved for use in studios or movie theaters that carry THX certification (due to never applying),[49] the division accounts for about 60% of Bose’s annual revenue.[50] In 1988, Bose became the first company to pay for the title of official Olympics sound system supplier, providing audio equipment for the Winter Olympics in Calgary, and again four years later in Albertville, France, the latter installed and maintained by company subsidiary Bose France.[51][52]


In 2004 Bose acquired company assets related to the development, manufacture and sales of materials testing equipment, founding the ElectroForce Systems Group,[53] which provides materials testing and durability simulation instruments to research institutions, universities, medical device companies and engineering organizations worldwide.

Military applications

Bose has contracts with the U.S. military[54][55] and NASA.[56]

Home audio and video products

The Bose SoundLink Mini uses Bluetooth to play audio from cell phones and other portable devices

With respect to sales in the U.S. for home audio retail home theater systems (speaker and receiver combination systems) and portable audio sales, Bose was respectively ranked first and third in 2012.[57] Unlike “high-end” home theater systems that use separate components,[58] Bose multimedia TV systems combine the processing and amplification into a single unit.

Music and speaker systems

  • SoundLink
  • SoundDock
  • Computer speakers
  • Headphones
  • Wave systems

Home entertainment systems

  • 5.1 systems
  • 2.1 systems
  • Surround sound speakers

Technical specifications

Amar Bose believed that traditional measures of audio equipment are not relevant to perceived audio quality and therefore did not publish the specifications for Bose products, claiming that the ultimate test was the listener’s perception of audio quality according to the listener’s preferences.[12][59] In 1968, Bose presented a paper to the Audio Engineering Society titled “On the Design, Measurement and Evaluation of Loudspeakers”. In this paper, he rejected numerical test data in favor of “more meaningful measurement and evaluation procedures”.[59] This is still the company’s philosophy. Many other audio product manufacturers publish numerical test data of their equipment, but Bose does not.[15]


In some non-audio related publications, Bose has been cited as a producer of “high-end audio” products.[60] Commenting on Bose’s “high-end” market positioning among audiophiles (people concerned with the best possible sound), a PC Magazine product reviewer stated “not only is Bose equipment’s sound quality not up to audiophile standards, but one could buy something that does meet these stringent requirements for the same price or, often, for less.”[61] Bose has also received mixed reviews from the public. Some people claim that Bose equipment produces, “sound larger than life and exaggerated”[62] Bose has not been certified by THX for its home entertainment products[63] even though its more expensive home theater products compete at prices where THX certification is common. Also unlike other competing products, Bose does not provide technical specifications such as frequency response, audio crossover, and acoustic impedance for its products.[64][65], as founder Dr. Amar Bose has described himself as an “audio subjectivist who rejects most specs, preferring instead to measure audio performance by what he calls the human experience”.[66]

Some other views include:

  • Bose’s flagship 901 speaker system was criticized by Stereophile magazine in 1979.[67] In its review, the magazine stated that the system was unexceptional and unlikely to appeal to perfectionists with a developed taste in precise imaging, detail, and timbre; and that these shortcomings were an excessive price to pay for the improvement in impact and ambiance generated by the large proportion of reflected sound [to on-axis sound]. However, the author also stated that the system produced a more realistic resemblance of natural ambiance than any other speaker system. A more recent positive review by TONE Audio found that the 901 was better than expected and a good value at the $1,400 price. Of note, the speakers could not be found at local retailers and had to be special ordered.[68]
  • A 2005 market study published by Forrester Research reported that Bose’s brand name was among several computer and consumer electronics brands most trusted by US consumers including Dell and Hewlett-Packard.[69]
  • A 2007 review in Audioholics online magazine reiterated that Bose was very expensive for its performance. Of the Bose Lifestyle V20 Home Theater System the reviewer wrote, “The Bose system is very expensive at nearly $2,000 and the sound quality isn’t really any better than many other surround systems costing a third of the price… the smaller [bass] cones cannot reproduce lower tactile [sic] frequencies.” The review included an interview with a Best Buy sales manager who suggested from his experience that, despite his directing customers to a better-sounding and less expensive alternative, some customers insisted on Bose.[70]
  • A July 2012 review by NBC News of the $5,000 46″ Bose TV noted that the video screen, produced by Samsung, resembled most closely a $750 flat panel television, and that the technology used was not up to par with other screens in the same category. The review then questioned the value of the additional $4,250 cost for the Bose TV, suggesting there were compelling audio alternatives for less than 1/5th the price difference.[71] The same system received a positive review by PC Magazine that cited the user interface and sound quality in an unobtrusive design.[72]
  • In July 2013, iLounge wrote about the Bose Soundlink Mini, a small remote speaker competing against inexpensive, low-end audio devices, that “Audio quality is SoundLink Mini’s real trump card over Jambox and most—not all—of its competitors… SoundLink Mini delivers much deeper bass and cleaner mid-bass at all volumes, suffering from noticeable distortion solely at the top of its volume scale.”[73]

Legal action

Bose has been described by audio industry professionals as a litigious company.[74][75][76][77] In 1981, Bose unsuccessfully sued the magazine Consumer Reports for libel. Consumer Reports reported in a review that the sound from the system that they reviewed “tended to wander about the room.” Initially, the Federal District Court found that Consumer Reports “had published the false statement with knowledge that it was false or with reckless disregard of its truth or falsity” when it changed what the original reviewer wrote about the speakers in his pre-publication draft, that the sound tended to wander “along the wall.” The Court of Appeals then reversed the trial court’s ruling on liability, and the United States Supreme Court affirmed in a 6–3 vote in the case Bose Corp. v. Consumers Union of United States, Inc., finding that the statement was made without actual malice, and therefore there was no libel.[78][79][80] In an interview decades later Bose said “We had 37 people at the time. I gathered them in one room and said, ‘If we don’t do anything, it will probably kill us. But if we do something, we have no credibility since we’re just a small company and we can’t do anything against this.’ I said I think we oughtta do something. I wanted a vote. It was unanimous in favor of taking action. Little did we know it would take 14 years to go through the legal process.”[12]

Bose sued Thiel Audio in the early 1990s to stop the audiophile loudspeaker maker from using “.2” (point two) at the end of its product model “CS2.2”. To comply with Bose’s trademark of “.2” associated with the Bose Model 2.2 product,[81] Thiel changed their model name to “CS2 2”, substituting a space for the decimal point.[82] Bose did not trademark “.3” so in 1997 when Thiel introduced the next model in the series, they named it the “Thiel 2.3”, advertising “the return of the decimal point.”[83]

In 1996, Bose sued two subsidiaries of Harman International Industries—JBL and Infinity Systems—for violating a Bose patent on elliptical tuning ports on some loudspeaker products.[76] In 2000, the court determined that Harman was to cease using elliptical ports in its products, and Harman was to pay Bose $5.7 million in court costs.[76] Harman stopped using the disputed port design but appealed the financial decision. At the end of 2002, the earlier judgment was upheld but by this time Bose’s court expenses had risen to $8 million, all to be paid by Harman.[81]

Bose was successful in blocking QSC Audio Products from trademarking the term “PowerWave” in connection with a certain QSC amplifier technology. In 2002, a court decided that the “Wave” trademark was worthy of greater protection because it was well-known on its own, even beyond its association with Bose.[84]

In 2003, Bose sued the non-profit electronics trade organization CEDIA for use of the “Electronic Lifestyles” trademark,[74] which CEDIA had been using since 1997. Bose argued that the trademark interfered with its own “Lifestyle” trademark.[85] Bose had previously sued to protect its “Lifestyle” trademark beginning in 1996 with a success against Motorola and continuing with settlements against New England Stereo, Lifestyle Technologies, Optoma and AMX.[86] In May 2007, CEDIA won the lawsuit after the court determined Bose to be guilty of laches (unreasonable delays), and that Bose’s assertions of fraud and likelihood of confusion were without merit.[87] CEDIA was criticized for spending nearly $1 million of its member’s money on the lawsuit, and Bose was criticized for “unsportsmanlike action against its own trade association”, according to Julie Jacobson of CE Pro magazine.[86]

In July 2014, Bose sued Beats Electronics for patent infringement, alleging that its “Studio” headphones line incorporated Bose noise cancellation technology.[88][89] Bose and Apple had collaborated on the SoundDock for iPod music players in 2004, then in May 2014 Beats was bought by Apple, bringing Bose and Apple into direct competition in the headphones market. Bose headphones were once the foremost brand offered in Apple stores, but Beats headphones outnumbered Bose headphones in Apple stores at the time of the lawsuit, and Beats had captured 62% of the premium headphones market while Bose held 22%.[90] In October 2014, Bose dropped the lawsuit, as Bose and Beats settled out of court without revealing the terms.[91][92][93] Apple removed all Bose products from its Apple stores a few days after the lawsuit was settled,[94] but two months later Bose products were returned to shelves.[95]

In April 2017 Bose was sued alleging a privacy violation with regard to the mobile phone apps delivered by Bose to control bluetooth Bose headphones.[96]


  1. ^ “Spotlight: Amar Bose, the guru of sound design”, International Herald Tribune, May 11, 2007. Retrieved November 17, 2012
  2. ^ abc “Bose 2017 annual report”, 2017. Retrieved January 25, 2018
  3. ^ ab “Founder of Mass.-based Bose audio firm dies at 83”. Associated Press: The Big Story. 12 July 2013..mw-parser-output cite.citation{font-style:inherit}.mw-parser-output q{quotes:”””””””‘””‘”}.mw-parser-output code.cs1-code{color:inherit;background:inherit;border:inherit;padding:inherit}.mw-parser-output .cs1-lock-free a{background:url(“//upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/6/65/Lock-green.svg/9px-Lock-green.svg.png”)no-repeat;background-position:right .1em center}.mw-parser-output .cs1-lock-limited a,.mw-parser-output .cs1-lock-registration a{background:url(“//upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/d/d6/Lock-gray-alt-2.svg/9px-Lock-gray-alt-2.svg.png”)no-repeat;background-position:right .1em center}.mw-parser-output .cs1-lock-subscription a{background:url(“//upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/a/aa/Lock-red-alt-2.svg/9px-Lock-red-alt-2.svg.png”)no-repeat;background-position:right .1em center}.mw-parser-output .cs1-subscription,.mw-parser-output .cs1-registration{color:#555}.mw-parser-output .cs1-subscription span,.mw-parser-output .cs1-registration span{border-bottom:1px dotted;cursor:help}.mw-parser-output .cs1-hidden-error{display:none;font-size:100%}.mw-parser-output .cs1-visible-error{font-size:100%}.mw-parser-output .cs1-subscription,.mw-parser-output .cs1-registration,.mw-parser-output .cs1-format{font-size:95%}.mw-parser-output .cs1-kern-left,.mw-parser-output .cs1-kern-wl-left{padding-left:0.2em}.mw-parser-output .cs1-kern-right,.mw-parser-output .cs1-kern-wl-right{padding-right:0.2em}
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  7. ^ “Study of Bose Ride System Indicates Reduction in Back Pain for Drivers”. Heavy Duty Trucking: Truckinginfo. 27 March 2014.
  8. ^ “Bose Once Debunked Cold Fusion. Yes, that Bose”. Mashable. 5 October 2014.
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  11. ^ http://dreamandreach.bose.com/en_US/explore/categories/home-audio/surround-conquer
  12. ^ abc Seth Porges (2007-09-19). “Dr. Bose Tells All: Company Secrets, Why They Don’t Publish Specs, And More”. Techcrunch.com. Retrieved 2012-10-21.
  13. ^ abc “University of Massachusetts: Pioneers of Innovation – Sherwin Greenblatt Conversation”. Massachusetts.edu. Archived from the original on December 2, 2012. Retrieved 2012-10-21.
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  15. ^ ab “Gadget Guy Review of the Bose Wave Music System”.
  16. ^ Home. “AES paper”. Aes.org. Retrieved 2012-10-21.
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  20. ^ “Gift to MIT”. MIT website. 29 April 2011.
  21. ^ Gift to MIT from Amar Bose raises Tax Questions, by Stephen Stom, New York Times 30 April 2011
  22. ^ ab “A car that can jump over obstacles”. MSNBC. 2005-11-28. Retrieved 2012-10-21.
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  26. ^ “Bose to open manufacturing plant in Malaysia”. Retrieved 2016-08-21.
  27. ^ “Bose Selling Pair Of Factories To Flex”. 2016-06-17. Retrieved 2016-08-21.
  28. ^ “Bose in Columbia to close in September”. Retrieved 2016-08-21.
  29. ^ “Bose Global Press Room – Bose Celebrates 30 Years of Automotive Sound”.
  30. ^ Frank Filipponio (2007-03-08). “Bose Media System debuts in Ferrari 612 Scaglietti”. Retrieved 2007-06-07.
  31. ^ “Bose seeks to offer Media System premium stereo in more cars”. Wot.motortrend.com. 2008-04-25. Retrieved 2012-10-21.
  32. ^ bose media system sophisticated car audio “Audio gear maker Bose is showing off their latest in car audio systems, the high-end Bose Media System.”
  33. ^ edmunds – 2008 Ferrari 612 Scaglietti Review Archived January 30, 2009, at the Wayback Machine.
  34. ^ “World News: Finalists revealed for the 2007 Telematics Awards TU-Automotive – Tracking Automotive Technology & Innovation”.
  35. ^ Carnoy, David (October 3, 2008). “Do Denon’s new noise-canceling headphones beat Bose’s Quiet Comfort models?”. Crave. CNET.com. Retrieved July 29, 2010.
  36. ^ “Amar Bose – Lemelson-MIT Program”. lemelson.mit.edu. Retrieved 2016-09-10.
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  38. ^ “Bose headphones spy on listeners: lawsuit”. April 19, 2017 – via Reuters.
  39. ^ Harris, William (2005-05-11). “The Bose Suspension System”. Auto.howstuffworks.com. Retrieved 2012-10-21.
  40. ^ Walton, Chris. “Inside Line ‘Bose Suspension“. Edmunds.com. Retrieved 2012-10-21.
  41. ^ “Popular Science” magazine, December 2004
  42. ^ Bose bumps on YouTube
  43. ^ French Interview “Suspension BOSE” on YouTube (car jumping appears at 3:20)
  44. ^ “Best Bass Headphones”. Retrieved 31 May 2015.
  45. ^ Shuldiner, Herb (November 30, 2007). “Bose Says Suspension Drawing Interest From OEMs”. WardsAuto.com. Retrieved July 31, 2010.
  46. ^ Williams, Stephen (January 29, 2010). “Bose’s New System Is a Truck Seat”. The New York Times. Retrieved 2012-07-15.
  47. ^ Miles, Gerry (March 15, 2010). “Potholed Boston streets inspire Bose truck seat”. Boston.com. Retrieved 2012-07-15.
  48. ^ Vanderwerp, Dave (December 2010). “The Bose Ride Truck Seating System: Bose makes ‘trucker butt’ a thing of the past”. Car and Driver. Retrieved 2012-07-15.
  49. ^ “Approved Equipment Lists”. Sound Engineer. THX. Archived from the original on August 2, 2010. Retrieved July 23, 2010.
  50. ^ Plunkett’s Entertainment and Media Industry Almanac 2009. Retrieved 2012-10-21.
  51. ^ “olympic”&dq=Bose+”olympic” The Film journal Volume 93, Issues 7–12 “At the 1988 Winter Olympics in Calgary, Canada. Bose was the first company ever to be named official sound system supplier. This designation indicates that a company’s products have been selected for purchase or lease by the Olympics” “Olympic Suppliers Bose Corporation was named official professional sound system supplier for the XVI Winter Olympic Games, to be held in Albertville. France in 1992”
  52. ^ “Bose Corporation – Company History”. Fundinguniverse.com. Retrieved 2012-10-21.
  53. ^ “ElectroForce Systems Group”. Bose-electroforce.com. Retrieved 2012-10-21.
  54. ^ “Bose Headsets used by Sonar Operators”. Web.archive.org. 2006-08-30. Archived from the original on August 30, 2006. Retrieved 2012-10-21.
  55. ^ “Aerospace News”. Aerospace News. 2007-03-14. Retrieved 2012-10-21.
  56. ^ “Forbes Magazine Biography of Amar Bose”. Forbes.com. 2006-02-13. Retrieved 2012-10-21.
  57. ^ “NPD Market Share Reports by Category”. Twice.com. Retrieved 2013-12-25.
  58. ^ “Home Theater 101 – Learning The Basics of Home Theater Systems”. Home theater review. Retrieved 2013-12-25. In this article, the publication states, “As the name suggests, the “separates” approach requires two boxes: a preamp/processor for signal input/processing and an amplifier (or multiple amplifiers) to power the speakers. The latter approach is more common amongst high-end audio enthusiasts who want more precise control over their system’s performance, particularly in the amplification realm.”
  59. ^ ab “On The Design, Measurement, and Evaluation of Loudspeakers”. AES. 1968. Retrieved 2010-07-23.
  60. ^  • “C|Net “Classy compacts: high-end CD radios“. Reviews.cnet.com. Retrieved 2012-10-21.

     • “Amar Bose, The world’s richest people”. Forbes.com. 2006-02-13. Retrieved 2012-10-21.

     • “High-End, Affordable and Adaptable”. PCMag.com. 2005-03-16. Retrieved 2012-10-21.

     • Ignited: managers! light up your company and career for more power By Vince Thompson (pg 178) “Bose Corporation, the maker of high-end audio equipment”
     • International business: theory and practice By Riad A. Ajami, Karel Cool, G. Jason Goddard (pg 470) “In 2002, Loewe established its distribution in the United States. The distribution was set up in cooperation with another high-end manufacturer, Bose, a U.S. sound specialist.”
     • Popular Mechanics Aug 2002 (pg 38) “Bose electronics, known for its tiny yet powerful Lifestyle home theater speaker and other high-end audio equipment”
  61. ^ Gideon, Tim (February 21, 2007), Bose Companion 5 Multimedia Speaker System, PC Magazine.com, retrieved July 27, 2010
  62. ^ “Why do Bose speakers sound so good?”. whatifhq.com. Retrieved 2018-09-29.
  63. ^ “List of THX certified home entertainment products”. Consumer. Retrieved July 23, 2010.
  64. ^ https://medium.com/@shafikhan/why-bose-speakers-are-so-expensive-a-detailed-study-82d9c64ddc13
  65. ^ https://www.quora.com/Why-are-Bose-speakers-so-expensive/answer/Neya-Rangesh?srid=ZEzc
  66. ^ https://www.audioholics.com/editorials/bose-why-audiophiles-should-stop-the-hate
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  68. ^ “We Review the Bose 901… Magic or Myth?”. TONEAudio.com. Retrieved 2013-12-29.
  69. ^ “Forrester Research – “The 2005 Technology Brand Scorecard“.
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  71. ^ Merson, Gary (July 13, 2012), TV in Bose’s $5,000 system resembles $750 Samsung LCD, NBCNews.com, retrieved August 16, 2013
  72. ^ Delaney, John R., “Bose VideoWave Entertainment System II (55-Inch)”, PC Magazine
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  74. ^ ab Bell, Ian (November 10, 2003) Bose sues CEDIA over trademark. Digital Trends
  75. ^ Bulkeley, William M. (December 31, 1996). “Bose Packs Concert Acoustics Into Home-Speaker Systems”. The Wall Street Journal. Among its competitors in the fragmented U.S loudspeaker industry, Bose is feared and disliked… Bose’s image isn’t helped by its hard-line tactics… It has also sued many of its competitors for mimicking its ads or the look of its products. Bose is ‘litigious and they patent everything that moves,’ says Andrew Kotsatos, president of Boston Acoustics Inc., a speaker maker in Peabody, Mass. Mr. Kotsatos says Bose’s lawyers objected to his company’s use of the phrase ‘invisible subwoofer’ in advertising. ‘We got a letter saying they had a trademark on the phrase “virtually invisible”‘ describing the Bose subwoofer. Thomas DeVesto, president of Cambridge Soundworks Inc., a Newton, Mass., speaker maker, says ‘I have to be careful. Every time I say something about them, they sue.’ To settle a Bose lawsuit, Cambridge had to agree to stop running ads boasting that its speakers were ‘better than Bose at half the price.’
  76. ^ abc Willis, Barry (September 10, 2000). “Harman Will Appeal Judgment on Bose Patent Infringement”. Stereophile. Source Interlink Media.
  77. ^ Schneider, Chuck (August 19, 2013). “Bose: No Highs, No Lows, Just $1B in Net Worth”. CE Pro.
  78. ^ Commentary on libel cases in general giving a specific example of Bose Corp. v. Consumer’s Union of United States. Archived September 30, 2006, at the Wayback Machine.
  79. ^ “Opinion of the United States Supreme Court”. Supreme.justia.com. Retrieved 2012-10-21.
  80. ^ [ Displaying Abstract ] (1984-05-02). “NY Times editorial on the Supreme Court’s ruling”. Select.nytimes.com. Retrieved 2012-10-21.
  81. ^ ab Willis, Barry (December 30, 2002). “Bose vs Harman Upheld”. Stereophile. Source Interlink Media.
  82. ^ Tellig, Sam (September 3, 2006). “Thiel CS2 2 loudspeaker”. Stereophile. Source Interlink Media.
  83. ^ “Thiel advertisement”. Absolute Sound: 101. 1997. Thiel 2.3 Loudspeaker: The Return of the Decimal Point …Well, Thiel’s decimal point is back, and it ain’t the only change, children.
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  86. ^ ab Jacobson, Julie (May 3, 2007) Bose Loses ‘Lifestyle’ Battle against CEDIA; AMX Drops ‘Lifestyle’ Brand: CEDIA finally prevailed against Bose after spending four years and almost $1 million. CE Pro.
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  89. ^ “Sound Off: Bose Sues Beats Over Noise-Cancelling Patents”. Digits. The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 1 August 2014.
  90. ^ Kirsner, Scott (August 3, 2014). “Is Bose up to a challenge from Apple?”. Boston Globe.
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External links

  • Official website Edit this at Wikidata


Koninklijke Philips N.V.
Naamloze Vennootschap
Traded as Euronext: PHIA, NYSE: PHG
  • Conglomerate
Founded 15 May 1891; 127 years ago (1891-05-15)
Eindhoven, Netherlands
Founders Gerard Philips
Frederik Philips
Headquarters Amsterdam, Netherlands
Area served
Key people
Jeroen van der Veer (Chairman)
Frans van Houten (CEO)
Abhijit Bhattacharya (CFO)
Hugo Barbosa Vazquez (Vice President)
Products Electronics
Medical equipment
Revenue €17.78 billion (2017)[1]
Operating income
€1.517 billion (2017)[2]
Net income
€1.870 billion (2017)[3]
Total assets €25.315 billion (2017)[4]
Total equity €11.99 billion (2017)[5]
Number of employees
73,951 (2017)[6]
Website www.usa.philips.com

Koninklijke Philips N.V. (literally Royal Philips, stylized as PHILIPS) is a Dutch multinational technology company headquartered in Amsterdam, one of the largest electronics companies in the world, currently focused in the area of healthcare and lighting. It was founded in Eindhoven in 1891 by Gerard Philips and his father Frederik, with their first products being light bulbs. It was once one of the largest electronic conglomerates in the world and currently employs around 74,000 people across 100 countries.[7] The company gained its royal honorary title in 1998 and dropped the “Electronics” in its name in 2013.[8]

Philips is organized into two main divisions: Philips Consumer health and well-being (formerly Philips Consumer Electronics and Philips Domestic Appliances and Personal Care) and Philips Professional Healthcare (formerly Philips Medical Systems). The lighting division was spun off as a separate company, Signify N.V. (formerly Philips Lighting prior to 2018). The company started making electric shavers in 1939 under the Philishave brand, and post-war they developed the Compact Cassette format and co-developed the Compact Disc format with Sony, as well as numerous other technologies. As of 2012, Philips was the largest manufacturer of lighting in the world as measured by applicable revenues.

Philips has a primary listing on the Euronext Amsterdam stock exchange and is a component of the Euro Stoxx 50 stock market index.[9] It has a secondary listing on the New York Stock Exchange. Acquisitions include that of Signetics and Magnavox. They also have had a sports club since 1913 called PSV Eindhoven.

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  • 1 History

    • 1.1 Philips Radio
    • 1.2 Stirling engine
    • 1.3 Shavers
    • 1.4 World War II
    • 1.5 1945–1999
    • 1.6 2000s
    • 1.7 2010s
  • 2 Corporate affairs

    • 2.1 CEOs
    • 2.2 CFOs
    • 2.3 Vice Presidents
    • 2.4 Acquisitions
  • 3 Operations

    • 3.1 Asia

      • 3.1.1 Thailand
      • 3.1.2 Hong Kong
      • 3.1.3 Mainland China
      • 3.1.4 India
      • 3.1.5 Israel
      • 3.1.6 Pakistan
    • 3.2 Europe

      • 3.2.1 France
      • 3.2.2 Germany
      • 3.2.3 Greece
      • 3.2.4 Italy
      • 3.2.5 Poland
      • 3.2.6 Portugal
      • 3.2.7 Sweden
      • 3.2.8 United Kingdom
    • 3.3 North America

      • 3.3.1 Canada
      • 3.3.2 Mexico
      • 3.3.3 United States
    • 3.4 Oceania

      • 3.4.1 Australia and New Zealand
    • 3.5 South America

      • 3.5.1 Brazil
    • 3.6 Former operations
  • 4 Products

    • 4.1 Lighting products
    • 4.2 Audio products
    • 4.3 Healthcare products

      • 4.3.1 Clinical informatics
      • 4.3.2 Imaging systems
      • 4.3.3 Diagnostic monitoring
      • 4.3.4 Defibrillators
      • 4.3.5 Consumer
      • 4.3.6 Patient care and clinical informatics
  • 5 Coat of arms/logotype
  • 6 Sponsorships
  • 7 Environmental record

    • 7.1 Green initiatives
    • 7.2 L-Prize competition
    • 7.3 Greenpeace ranking
  • 8 Publications
  • 9 References
  • 10 External links


Gerard Philips

The very first Philips factory in Eindhoven, now a public museum

The Philips Company was founded in 1891, by Gerard Philips and his father Frederik Philips. Frederik, a banker based in Zaltbommel, financed the purchase and setup of an empty factory building in Eindhoven, where the company started the production of carbon-filament lamps and other electro-technical products in 1892. This first factory has been adapted and is used as a museum.[10]

In 1895, after a difficult first few years and near bankruptcy, the Philipses brought in Anton, Gerard’s younger brother by sixteen years. Though he had earned a degree in engineering, Anton started work as a sales representative; soon, however, he began to contribute many important business ideas. With Anton’s arrival, the family business began to expand rapidly, resulting in the founding of Philips Metaalgloeilampfabriek N.V. (Philips Metal Filament Lamp Factory Ltd.) in Eindhoven in 1908, followed in 1912, by the foundation of Philips Gloeilampenfabrieken N.V. (Philips Lightbulb Factories Ltd.). After Gerard and Anton Philips changed their family business by founding the Philips corporation, they laid the foundations for the later electronics multinational.

In the 1920s, the company started to manufacture other products, such as vacuum tubes. In 1939, they introduced their electric razor, the Philishave (marketed in the US using the Norelco brand name). The “Chapel” is a radio with built-in loudspeaker, which was designed during the early 1930s.

Philips Radio

Curved, triangular radio with brown wooden cabinet

Philips ‘Chapel’ radio model 930A, 1931

On 11 March 1927, Philips went on the air with shortwave radio station PCJJ (later PCJ) which was joined in 1929 by sister station PHOHI (Philips Omroep Holland-Indië). PHOHI broadcast in Dutch to the Dutch East Indies (now Indonesia) while PCJJ broadcast in English, Spanish and German to the rest of the world.

The international program on Sundays commenced in 1928, with host Eddie Startz hosting the Happy Station show, which became the world’s longest-running shortwave program. Broadcasts from the Netherlands were interrupted by the German invasion in May 1940. The Germans commandeered the transmitters in Huizen to use for pro-Nazi broadcasts, some originating from Germany, others concerts from Dutch broadcasters under German control.

Philips Radio was absorbed shortly after liberation when its two shortwave stations were nationalised in 1947 and renamed Radio Netherlands Worldwide, the Dutch International Service. Some PCJ programs, such as Happy Station, continued on the new station.

Stirling engine

Philips was instrumental in the revival of the Stirling engine when, in the early 1930s, the management decided that offering a low-power portable generator would assist in expanding sales of its radios into parts of the world where mains electricity was unavailable and the supply of batteries uncertain. Engineers at the company’s research lab carried out a systematic comparison of various power sources and determined that the almost forgotten Stirling engine would be most suitable, citing its quiet operation (both audibly and in terms of radio interference) and ability to run on a variety of heat sources (common lamp oil – “cheap and available everywhere” – was favored).[11] They were also aware that, unlike steam and internal combustion engines, virtually no serious development work had been carried out on the Stirling engine for many years and asserted that modern materials and know-how should enable great improvements.[12]

Encouraged by their first experimental engine, which produced 16 W of shaft power from a bore and stroke of 30 mm × 25 mm,[13] various development models were produced in a program which continued throughout World War II. By the late 1940s, the ‘Type 10’ was ready to be handed over to Philips’s subsidiary Johan de Witt in Dordrecht to be produced and incorporated into a generator set as originally planned. The result, rated at 180/200 W electrical output from a bore and stroke of 55 mm × 27 mm, was designated MP1002CA (known as the “Bungalow set”). Production of an initial batch of 250 began in 1951, but it became clear that they could not be made at a competitive price, besides with the advent of transistor radios with their much lower power requirements meant that the original rationale for the set was disappearing. Approximately 150 of these sets were eventually produced.[14]

In parallel with the generator set Philips developed experimental Stirling engines for a wide variety of applications and continued to work in the field until the late 1970s, though the only commercial success was the ‘reversed Stirling engine’ cryocooler. However, they filed a large number of patents and amassed a wealth of information, which they later licensed to other companies.[15]


The first Philips shaver was introduced in the 1930s, and was simply called Philishave. In the US, it was called Norelco. The Philishave has remained part of the Philips product line-up until the present.

World War II

On 9 May 1940, the Philips directors learned that the German invasion of the Netherlands was to take place the following day. Having prepared for this, Anton Philips and his son in law Frans Otten, as well as other Philips family members, fled to the United States, taking a large amount of the company capital with them. Operating from the US as the North American Philips Company, they managed to run the company throughout the war. At the same time, the company was moved (on paper) to the Netherlands Antilles to keep it out of German hands.[16]

On 6 December 1942, the British No. 2 Group RAF undertook Operation Oyster, which heavily damaged the Philips Radio factory in Eindhoven with few casualties among the Dutch workers and civilians.[17] The Philips works in Eindhoven was bombed again by the RAF on 30 March 1943.[18][19]

Frits Philips, the son of Anton, was the only Philips family member to stay in the Netherlands. He saved the lives of 382 Jews by convincing the Nazis that they were indispensable for the production process at Philips.[20] In 1943 he was held at the internment camp for political prisoners at Vught for several months because a strike at his factory reduced production. For his actions in saving the hundreds of Jews, he was recognized by Yad Vashem in 1995 as a “Righteous Among the Nations”.[21]


After the war the company was moved back to the Netherlands, with their headquarters in Eindhoven.

The Philips Light Tower in Eindhoven, originally a light bulb factory and later the company headquarters[22]

The Evoluon in Eindhoven, opened in 1966

In 1949, the company began selling television sets.[23] In 1950, it formed Philips Records, which eventually formed part of PolyGram.

Philips introduced the audio Compact Audio Cassette tape in 1963, and it was wildly successful. Compact cassettes were initially used for dictation machines for office typing stenographers and professional journalists. As their sound quality improved, cassettes would also be used to record sound and became the second mass media alongside vinyl records used to sell recorded music.

An early portable Compact Cassette recorder by Philips (model D6350)

Philips introduced the first combination portable radio and cassette recorder, which was marketed as the “radiorecorder”, and is now better known as the boom box. Later, the cassette was used in telephone answering machines, including a special form of cassette where the tape was wound on an endless loop. The C-cassette was used as the first mass storage device for early personal computers in the 1970s and 1980s. Philips reduced the cassette size for the professional needs with the Mini-Cassette, although it would not be as successful as the Olympus Microcassette. This became the predominant dictation medium up to the advent of fully digital dictation machines.[citation needed] Philips continued with computers through the early 1990s (see separate article: Philips Computers).

In 1972, Philips launched the world’s first home video cassette recorder, in the UK, the N1500. Its relatively bulky video cassettes could record 30 minutes or 45 minutes. Later one-hour tapes were also offered. As competition came from Sony’s Betamax and the VHS group of manufacturers, Philips introduced the N1700 system which allowed double-length recording. For the first time, a 2-hour movie could fit onto one video cassette. In 1977, the company unveiled a special promotional film for this system in the UK, featuring comedian Denis Norden.[24] The concept was quickly copied by the Japanese makers, whose tapes were significantly cheaper. Philips made one last attempt at a new standard for video recorders with the Video 2000 system, with tapes that could be used on both sides and had 8 hours of total recording time. As Philips only sold its systems on the PAL standard and in Europe, and the Japanese makers sold globally, the scale advantages of the Japanese proved insurmountable and Philips withdrew the V2000 system and joined the VHS Coalition.[citation needed]

Philips CD-100, the second ever commercially released CD player (after partner Sony’s CDP-101)

Philips had developed a LaserDisc early on for selling movies, but delayed its commercial launch for fear of cannibalizing its video recorder sales. Later Philips joined with MCA to launch the first commercial LaserDisc standard and players. In 1982, Philips teamed with Sony to launch the Compact Disc; this format evolved into the CD-R, CD-RW, DVD and later Blu-ray, which Philips launched with Sony in 1997[citation needed] and 2006 respectively.

In 1984, the Dutch Philips Group bought out nearly a one-third share and took over the management of German company Grundig.

In 1984, Philips split off its activities on the field of photolithographic integrated circuit production equipment, the so-called wafer steppers, into a joint venture with ASM International, located in Veldhoven under the name ASML. Over the years, this new company has evolved into the world’s leading manufacturer of chip production machines at the expense of competitors like Nikon and Canon.

In 1991, the company’s name was changed from N.V. Philips Gloeilampenfabrieken to Philips Electronics N.V. At the same time, North American Philips was formally dissolved, and a new corporate division was formed in the US with the name Philips Electronics North America Corp.[citation needed]

In 1991-1992, Philips along with their subsidiary Magnavox, released the Philips CD-i, a combined CD player and home video game console. It sold one million units and was discontinued in 1998 after being heavily criticized amongst the gaming community.[25]

In 1997, the company officers decided to move the headquarters from Eindhoven to Amsterdam along with the corporate name change to Koninklijke Philips Electronics N.V., the latter of which was finalized on 16 March 1998.[26]


The move of the headquarters to Amsterdam was completed in 2001. Initially, the company was housed in the Rembrandt Tower. In 2002 it moved again, this time to the Breitner Tower. Philips Lighting, Philips Research, Philips Semiconductors (spun off as NXP in September 2006) and Philips Design, are still based in Eindhoven. Philips Healthcare is headquartered in both Best, Netherlands (near Eindhoven) and Andover, Massachusetts, United States (near Boston).

In 2000, Philips bought Optiva Corporation, the maker of Sonicare electric toothbrushes. The company was renamed Philips Oral Healthcare and made a subsidiary of Philips DAP. In 2001, Philips acquired Agilent Technologies’ Healthcare Solutions Group (HSG) for EUR 2 billion.[27] Philips created a computer monitors joint venture with LG called LG.Philips Displays in 2001.

Philips’s new 2004 slogan

In 2004, Philips abandoned the slogan “Let’s make things better” in favour of a new one: “Sense and simplicity”.

In December 2005 Philips announced its intention to sell or demerge its semiconductor division. On 1 September 2006, it was announced in Berlin that the name of the new company formed by the division would be NXP Semiconductors. On 2 August 2006, Philips completed an agreement to sell a controlling 80.1% stake in NXP Semiconductors to a consortium of private equity investors consisting of Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. (KKR), Silver Lake Partners and AlpInvest Partners. On 21 August 2006, Bain Capital and Apax Partners announced that they had signed definitive commitments to join the acquiring consortium, a process which was completed on 1 October 2006.

In 2006 Philips bought out the company Lifeline Systems headquartered in Framingham, Massachusetts in a deal valued at $750 million, its biggest move yet to expand its consumer-health business (M).[28] In August 2007, Philips acquired the company Ximis, Inc. headquartered in El Paso, Texas for their Medical Informatics Division.[29] In October 2007, it purchased a Moore Microprocessor Patent (MPP) Portfolio license from The TPL Group.

On 21 December 2007, Philips and Respironics, Inc. announced a definitive agreement pursuant to which Philips acquired all of the outstanding shares of Respironics for US$66 per share, or a total purchase price of approximately €3.6 billion (US$5.1 billion) in cash.[30]

On 21 February 2008, Philips completed the acquisition of VISICU Baltimore, Maryland through the merger of its indirect wholly owned subsidiary into VISICU. As a result of that merger, VISICU has become an indirect wholly owned subsidiary of Philips. VISICU was the creator of the eICU concept of the use of Telemedicine from a centralized facility to monitor and care for ICU patients.[31]

The Philips physics laboratory was scaled down in the early 21st century, as the company ceased trying to be innovative in consumer electronics through fundamental research.[32]


In January 2011, Philips agreed to acquire the assets of Preethi, a leading India-based kitchen appliances company.[33] On 27 June 2011, Philips acquired Sectra Mamea AB, the mammography division of Sectra AB, together with the MicroDose brand.[34]

Because net profit slumped 85 percent in Q3 2011, Philips announced a cut of 4,500 jobs to match part of an €800 million ($1.1 billion) cost-cutting scheme to boost profits and meet its financial target.[35] In 2011, the company posted a loss of €1.3 billion, but earned a net profit in Q1 and Q2 2012, however the management wanted €1.1 billion cost-cutting which was an increase from €800 million and may cut another 2,200 jobs until end of 2014.[36]
In March 2012, Philips announced its intention to sell, or demerge its television manufacturing operations to TPV Technology.[37]

On 5 December 2012, the antitrust regulators of the European Union fined Philips and several other major companies for fixing prices of TV cathode-ray tubes in two cartels lasting nearly a decade.[38]

On 29 January 2013, it was announced that Philips had agreed to sell its audio and video operations to the Japan-based Funai Electric for €150 million, with the audio business planned to transfer to Funai in the latter half of 2013, and the video business in 2017.[39][40][41] As part of the transaction, Funai was to pay a regular licensing fee to Philips for the use of the Philips brand.[40] The purchase agreement was terminated by Philips in October because of breach of contract[42] and the consumer electronics operations remain under Philips. Philips said it would seek damages for breach of contract in the US$200-million sale.[43] In April 2016, the International Court of Arbitration ruled in favour of Philips, awarding compensation of €135 million in the process.[44]

In April 2013, Philips announced a collaboration with Paradox Engineering for the realization and implementation of a “pilot project” on network-connected street-lighting management solutions. This project was endorsed by the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission (SFPUC).[45]

In 2013, Philips omitted the word “Electronics” from its name, which is now Royal Philips N.V.[46] On 13 November 2013, Philips unveiled its new brand line “Innovation and You” and a new design of its shield mark. The new brand positioning is cited by Philips to signify company’s evolution and emphasize that innovation is only meaningful if it is based on an understanding of people’s needs and desires.[47]

On 28 April 2014, Philips agreed to sell their Woox Innovations subsidiary (consumer electronics) to Gibson Brands for $US135 million. On 23 September 2014, Philips announced a plan to split the company into two, separating the lighting business from the healthcare and consumer lifestyle divisions.[48] it moved to complete this in March 2015 to an investment group for $3.3 billion[49]

On February 2015, Philips acquired Volcano Corporation to strengthen its position in non-invasive surgery and imaging.[50] In June 2016, Philips spun off its lighting division to focus on the healthcare division.[51] In June 2017, Philips announced it would acquire US-based Spectranetics Corp, a manufacturer of devices to treat heart disease, for €1.9 billion (£1.68 billion) expanding its current image-guided therapy business.

In 2018, the lighting products division known as Philips Lighting N.V. was renamed Signify N.V. It continues to produce and market Philips-branded products such as Philips Hue color-changing LED light bulbs.[52]

Corporate affairs


Past and present CEOs:

  • 1891–1922: Gerard Philips
  • 1922–1939: Anton Philips
  • 1939–1961: Frans Otten
  • 1961–1971: Frits Philips
  • 1971–1977: Henk van Riemsdijk
  • 1977–1981: Nico Rodenburg
  • 1981-1982: Cor Dillen
  • 1982–1986: Wisse Dekker
  • 1986–1990: Cor van der Klugt
  • 1990–1996: Jan Timmer
  • 1996–2001: Cor Boonstra
  • 2001–2011: Gerard Kleisterlee
  • 2011–present: Frans van Houten

CEOs lighting

  • 2003-2008: Theo van Deursen
  • 2012–present CEO : Eric Rondolat


Past and Present CFOs (Chief Financial Officer)

  • 1960–1968: Cor Dillen
  • 2015–present: Abhijit Bhattacharya

Vice Presidents

In January 2013, Hugo Barbosa Vazquez was hired to own market analysis and forecasting activities across all Philips businesses (Consumer Lifestyle, Healthcare and Lighting) and geographies.


Companies acquired by Philips through the years include ADAC Laboratories, Agilent Healthcare Solutions Group, Amperex, ATL Ultrasound, EKCO, Lifeline Systems, Magnavox, Marconi Medical Systems, Mullard, Optiva, Preethi, Pye, Respironics, Inc., Sectra Mamea AB, Signetics, VISICU, Volcano, VLSI, Ximis, portions of Westinghouse and the consumer electronics operations of Philco and Sylvania. Philips abandoned the Sylvania trademark which is now owned by Havells Sylvania except in Australia, Canada, Mexico, New Zealand, Puerto Rico and the USA where it is owned by Osram. Formed in November 1999 as an equal joint venture between Philips and Agilent Technologies, the light-emitting diode manufacturer Lumileds became a subsidiary of Phillips Lighting in August 2005 and a fully owned subsidiary in December 2006.[53][54] An 80.1 percent stake in Lumileds was sold to Apollo Global Management in 2017.[55]


Philips is registered in the Netherlands as a naamloze vennootschap and has its global headquarters in Amsterdam.[7] At the end of 2013 Philips had 111 manufacturing facilities, 59 R&D Facilities across 26 countries and sales and service operations in around 100 countries.[56]

Philips is organized into three main divisions: Philips Consumer Lifestyle (formerly Philips Consumer Electronics and Philips Domestic Appliances and Personal Care), Philips Healthcare (formerly Philips Medical Systems) and Philips Lighting.[7] Philips achieved total revenues of €22.579 billion in 2011, of which €8.852 billion were generated by Philips Healthcare, €7.638 billion by Philips Lighting, €5.823 billion by Philips Consumer Lifestyle and €266 million from group activities.[7] At the end of 2011 Philips had a total of 121,888 employees, of whom around 44% were employed in Philips Lighting, 31% in Philips Healthcare and 15% in Philips Consumer Lifestyle.[7]

Philips invested a total of €1.61 billion in research and development in 2011, equivalent to 7.1% of sales.[7] Philips Intellectual Property and Standards is the group-wide division responsible for licensing, trademark protection and patenting.[57] Philips currently holds around 54,000 patent rights, 39,000 trademarks, 70,000 design rights and 4,400 domain name registrations.[7]



Philips Thailand was established in 1952. It is a subsidiary which produces healthcare, lifestyle and lighting products. Philips started manufacturing in Thailand in 1960 with an incandescent lamp factory. Philips has diversified its production facilities to include a fluorescent lamp factory and a luminaries factory, serving Thai and worldwide markets.[58]

Hong Kong

The Philips building in the Hong Kong Science Park

Philips Hong Kong began operation in 1948. Philips Hong Kong houses the global headquarters of Philips’ Audio Business Unit. It also house Philips’ Asia Pacific regional office and headquarters for its Design Division, Domestic Appliances & Personal Care Products Division, Lighting Products Division and Medical System Products Division.[59]

In 1974, Philips opened a lamp factory in Hong Kong. This has a capacity of 200 million pieces a year and is certified with ISO 9001:2000 and ISO 14001. Its product portfolio includes prefocus, lensend and E10 miniature light bulbs.[59]

Mainland China

Philips established in Zhuhai, Guangdong in 1990. The site mainly manufactures Philishaves and healthcare products.[60] In early 2008, Philips Lighting, a division of Royal Philips Electronics, opened a small engineering center in Shanghai to adapt the company’s products to vehicles in Asia.[61]


Philips began operations in India in 1930, with the establishment of Philips Electrical Co. (India) Pvt Ltd in Kolkata as a sales outlet for imported Philips lamps. In 1938, Philips established its first Indian lamp-manufacturing factory in Kolkata. In 1948, Philips started manufacturing radios in Kolkata. In 1959, a second radio factory was established near Pune. This was closed and sold around 2006. In 1957, the company converted into a public limited company, renamed “Philips India Ltd”. In 1970 a new consumer electronics factory began operations in Pimpri near Pune. This is now called the ‘Philips Healthcare Innovation Centre’. Also, a manufacturing facility ‘Philips Centre for Manufacturing Excellence’ was set up in Chakan, Pune in 2012. In 1996, the Philips Software Centre was established in Bangalore, later renamed the Philips Innovation Campus.[62] In 2008, Philips India entered the water purifier market. In 2014, Philip’s was ranked 12th among India’s most trusted brands according to the Brand Trust Report, a study conducted by Trust Research Advisory.[63]


Philips has been active in Israel since 1948 and in 1998, set up a wholly owned subsidiary, Philips Electronics (Israel) Ltd. The company has over 700 employees in Israel and generated sales of over $300 million in 2007.[64]

Philips Medical Systems Technologies Ltd. (Haifa) is a developer and manufacturer of Computerized Tomography (CT), diagnostic and Medical Imaging systems. The company was founded in 1969 as Elscint by Elron Electronic Industries and was acquired by Marconi Medical Systems in 1998, which was itself acquired by Philips in 2001.

Philips Semiconductors formerly had major operations in Israel; these now form part of NXP Semiconductors.


Philips has been active in Pakistan since 1948 and has a wholly owned subsidiary, Philips Pakistan Limited (Formerly Philips Electrical Industries of Pakistan Limited).[65]

The head office is in Karachi with regional sales offices in Lahore and Rawalpindi.



The headquarters of Philips France in Suresnes

Philips France has its headquarters in Suresnes. The company employs over 3600 people nationwide.

Philips Lighting has manufacturing facilities in Chalon-sur-Saône (fluorescent lamps), Chartres (automotive lighting), Lamotte-Beuvron (architectural lighting by LEDs and professional indoor lighting), Longvic (lamps), Miribel (outdoor lighting), Nevers (professional indoor lighting).


Philips Germany was founded in 1926 in Berlin. Now its headquarters is located in Hamburg. Over 4900 people are employed in Germany.[66]

  • Hamburg
    • Distribution center of the divisions Healthcare, Consumer Lifestyle, and Lighting.
    • Philips Medical Systems DMC.
    • Philips Innovative Technologies, Research Laboratories.
  • Aachen
    • Philips Innovative Technologies.
    • Philips Innovation Services.
  • Böblingen
    • Philips Medical Systems, patient monitoring systems.
  • Herrsching
    • Philips Respironics.
  • Ulm
    • Philips Photonics, development and manufacture of vertical laser diodes (VCSELs) and photodiodes for sensing and data communication.


Philips’ Greece is headquartered in Halandri, Attica. As of 2012 Philips has no manufacturing plants in Greece, although there have been in the past.


Philips founded its Italian headquarter in 1918, basing it in Monza (Milan) where it still operates, for commercial activities only.


Philips’ operations in Poland include: a European financial and accounting centre in Łódź; Philips Lighting facilities in Bielsko-Biała, Pabianice, Piła, and Kętrzyn; and a Philips Domestic Appliances facility in Białystok.


Philips started business in Portugal in 1927, as “Philips Portuguesa S.A.R.L.”.[67][self-published source?][68] Currently, Philips Portuguesa S.A. is headquartered in Oeiras near Lisbon.[69] There were three Philips factories in Portugal: the FAPAE lamp factory in Lisbon;[68][70][71] the Carnaxide magnetic-core memory factory near Lisbon, where the Philips Service organization was also based; and the Ovar factory in northern Portugal making camera components and remote control devices.[70] The company still operates in Portugal with divisions for commercial lighting, medical systems and domestic appliances.[72]


Philips Sweden has two main sites, Kista, Stockholm County, with regional sales, marketing and a customer support organization and Solna, Stockholm County, with the main office of the mammography division.

United Kingdom

Philips UK has its headquarters[73] in Guildford. The company employs over 2500 people nationwide.

  • Philips Healthcare Informatics, Belfast develops healthcare software products.
  • Philips Consumer Products, Guildford provides sales and marketing for televisions, including High Definition televisions, DVD recorders, hi-fi and portable audio, CD recorders, PC peripherals, cordless telephones, home and kitchen appliances, personal care (shavers, hair dryers, body beauty and oral hygiene ).
  • Philips Dictation Systems, Colchester.
  • Philips Lighting: sales from Guildford and manufacture in Hamilton.
  • Philips Healthcare, Guildford. Sales and technical support for X-ray, ultrasound, nuclear medicine, patient monitoring, magnetic resonance, computed tomography, and resuscitation products.
  • Philips Research Laboratories, Cambridge (Until 2008 based in Redhill, Surrey. Originally these were the Mullard Research Laboratories.)

In the past, Philips UK also included:

  • Consumer product manufacturing in Croydon
  • Television Tube Manufacturing Mullard Simonstone
  • Philips Business Communications, Cambridge: offered voice and data communications products, specialising in Customer Relationship Management (CRM) applications, IP Telephony, data networking, voice processing, command and control systems and cordless and mobile telephony. In 2006 the business was placed into a 60/40 joint venture with NEC. NEC later acquired 100% ownership and the business was renamed NEC Unified Solutions.
  • Philips Electronics Blackburn; vacuum tubes, capacitors, delay-lines, Laserdiscs, CDs.
  • Philips Domestic Appliances Hastings: Design and Production of Electric kettles, Fan Heaters plus former EKCO brand “Thermotube” Tubular Heaters and “Hostess” Domestic Food Warming Trolleys.
  • Philips Semiconductors, Hazel Grove, Stockport and Southampton, both also earlier part of Mullard. These became part of NXP.
  • London Carriers, logistics and transport division.
  • Mullard Equipment Limited (MEL) which produced products for the military
  • Pye Telecommunications Ltd of Cambridge
  • TMC Limited of Malmesbury
  • Pye TVT Ltd of Cambridge

North America


Philips Canada was founded in 1934. It is well known in medical systems for diagnosis and therapy, lighting technologies, shavers, and consumer electronics.

The Canadian headquarters are located in Markham, Ontario.

For several years, Philips manufactured lighting products in two Canadian factories. The London, Ontario, plant opened in 1971. It produced A19 lamps (including the “Royale” long life bulbs), PAR38 lamps and T19 lamps (originally a Westinghouse lamp shape). Philips closed the factory in May 2003. The Trois-Rivières, Quebec plant was a Westinghouse facility which Philips continued to run it after buying Westinghouse’s lamp division in 1983. Philips closed this factory a few years later, in the late 1980s.


Philips Mexicana SA de CV is headquartered in Mexico City. Philips Lighting has manufacturing facilities in: Monterrey, Nuevo León; Ciudad Juárez, Chihuahua; and Tijuana, Baja California. Philips Consumer Electronics has a manufacturing facility in Ciudad Juárez, Chihuahua. Philips Domestic Appliances formerly operated a large factory in the Industrial Vallejo sector of Mexico City but this was closed in 2004.

United States

Philips’ North American headquarters in Andover, Massachusetts

Philips’ Electronics North American headquarters is in Andover, Massachusetts. In early 2018, it was announced that the US headquarters would move to Cambridge, Massachusetts by 2020.[74] Philips Lighting has its corporate office in Somerset, New Jersey, with manufacturing plants in Danville, Kentucky, Dallas, Salina, Kansas and Paris, Texas and distribution centers in Mountain Top, Pennsylvania El Paso, Texas, Ontario, California and Memphis, Tennessee. Philips Healthcare is headquartered in Cambridge, Massachusetts and operates a health-tech hub in Nashville, Tennessee with over 1000 jobs. The North American sales organization is based in Bothell, Washington. There are also manufacturing facilities in Andover, Massachusetts, Bothell, Washington, Baltimore, Maryland, Cleveland, Ohio, Foster City, California, Gainesville, Florida, Milpitas, California and Reedsville, Pennsylvania. Philips Healthcare also formerly had a factory in Knoxville, Tennessee. Philips Consumer Lifestyle has its corporate office in Stamford, Connecticut. Philips Lighting has a Color Kinetics office in Burlington, Massachusetts. Philips Research North American headquarters is in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

In 2007, Philips entered into a definitive merger agreement with North American luminaires company Genlyte Group Incorporated, which provides the company with a leading position in the North American luminaires (also known as ˜lighting fixtures”), controls and related products for a wide variety of applications, including solid state lighting. The company also acquired Respironics, which was a significant gain for its healthcare sector. On 21 February 2008 Philips completed the acquisition of VISICU Baltimore, Maryland. VISICU was the creator of the eICU concept of the use of Telemedicine from a centralized facility to monitor and care for ICU patients.


Australia and New Zealand

Philips Australia was founded in 1927 and is headquartered in North Ryde, New South Wales and also manages the New Zealand operation from there. The company currently employs around 800 people. Regional sales and support offices are located in Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide, Perth and Auckland.

Current activities include: Philips Healthcare (also responsible for New Zealand operations); Philips Lighting (also responsible for New Zealand operations); Phillips Oral Healthcare, Phillips Professional Dictation Solutions, Phillips Professional Display Solutions, Phillips AVENT Professional, Philips Consumer Lifestyle (also responsible for New Zealand operations); Philips Sleep & Respiratory Care (formerly Respironics), with its ever-increasing national network of Sleepeasy Centres ; Philips Dynalite (Lighting Control systems, acquired in 2009, global design and manufacturing centre) and Philips Selecon NZ (Lighting Entertainment product design and manufacture).

South America


Philips do Brasil (Portuguese: Philips do Brasil) was founded in 1924 in Rio de Janeiro.[75] In 1929, Philips started to sell radio receivers. In the 1930s, Philips was making its light bulbs and radio receivers in Brazil. From 1939 to 1945, World War II forced Brazilian branch of Philips to sell bicycles, refrigerators and insecticides. After the war, Philips had a great industrial expansion in Brazil, and was among the first groups to establish in Manaus Free Zone. In the 1970s, Philips Records was a major player in Brazil recording industry. Nowadays, Philips do Brasil is one of the largest foreign-owned companies in Brazil. Philips uses the brand Walita for domestic appliances in Brazil.

Former operations

Philips subsidiary Philips-Duphar(nl) manufactured pharmaceuticals for human and veterinary use and products for crop protection. Duphar was sold to Solvay in 1990. In subsequent years Solvay sold off all divisions to other companies (crop protection to UniRoyal, now Chemtura, the veterinary division to Fort Dodge, a division of Wyeth, and the pharmaceutical division to Abbott Laboratories).

PolyGram, Philips’ music television and movies division, was sold to Seagram in 1998; merged into Universal Music Group. Philips Records continues to operate as record label of UMG, its name licensed from its former parent.

Origin, now part of Atos Origin, is a former division of Philips.

ASM Lithography is a spin-off from a division of Philips.

Hollandse Signaalapparaten was a manufacturer of military electronics. The business was sold to Thomson-CSF in 1990 and is now Thales Nederland.

NXP Semiconductors, formerly known as Philips Semiconductors, was sold a consortium of private equity investors in 2006. On 6 August 2010, NXP completed its IPO, with shares trading on NASDAQ.

Philips used to sell major household appliances (whitegoods) under the name Philips. After selling the Major Domestic Appliances division to Whirlpool Corporation it changed from Philips Whirlpool to Whirlpool Philips and finally to just Whirlpool. Whirlpool bought a 53% stake in Philips’ major appliance operations to form Whirlpool International. Whirlpool bought Philips’ remaining interest in Whirlpool International in 1991.

Philips Cryogenics was split off in 1990 to form the Stirling Cryogenics BV, Netherlands. This company is still active in the development and manufacturing of Stirling cryocoolers and cryogenic cooling systems.

North American Philips distributed AKG Acoustics products under the AKG of America, Philips Audio/Video, Norelco and AKG Acoustics Inc. branding until AKG set up its North American division in San Leandro, California in 1985. (AKG’s North American division has since moved to Northridge, California.)

Polymer Vision was a Philips spin-off that manufactured a flexible e-ink display screen. The company closed in 2009.[76][77]


Old Philips x-ray tube

Philips’ core products are consumer electronics and electrical products (including small domestic appliances, shavers, beauty appliances, mother and childcare appliances, electric toothbrushes and coffee makers (products like Smart Phones, audio equipment, Blu-ray players, computer accessories and televisions are sold under license)); and healthcare products (including CT scanners, ECG equipment, mammography equipment, monitoring equipment, MRI scanners, radiography equipment, resuscitation equipment, ultrasound equipment and X-ray equipment);[78]

Lighting products

LED bulbs made by Philips.[79]

  • Professional indoor luminaires[80]
  • Professional outdoor luminaires[81]
  • Professional lamps[82]
  • Lighting controls and control systems[83]
  • Digital projection lights[84]
  • Horticulture lighting[85]
  • Solar LED lights[86]
  • Smart office lighting systems[87]
  • Smart retail lighting systems[88]
  • Smart city lighting systems[89]
  • Home lamps[90]
  • Home fixtures[91]
  • Home systems (branded as Philips Hue ) [92]

Audio products

The Philips A5-PRO headphones

  • Hi-fi systems
  • Wireless speakers
  • Radio systems
  • Docking stations
  • Headphones
  • DJ mixers
  • Alarm clocks

Healthcare products

Sonicare electric toothbrush

Philips healthcare products include:

Coat of arms/logotype


PSV’s Philips Stadion

In 1913, in celebration of the 100th anniversary of the liberation of the Netherlands, Philips founded Philips Sports Vereniging (Philips Sports Club, now commonly known as PSV). The club is active in numerous sports but is now best known for its football team, PSV Eindhoven, and swimming team. Philips owns the naming rights to Philips Stadion in Eindhoven, which is the home ground of PSV Eindhoven.

Outside of the Netherlands, Philips sponsors and has sponsored numerous sports clubs, sports facilities and events. In November 2008 Philips renewed and extended its F1 partnership with AT&T Williams. Philips owns the naming rights to the Philips Championship, the premier basketball league in Australia, traditionally known as the National Basketball League. From 1988 to 1993 Philips was the principal sponsor of the Australian rugby league team The Balmain Tigers and Indonesian football club side Persiba Balikpapan. From 1998 to 2000, Philips sponsored the Winston Cup #7 entry for Geoff Bodine Racing, later Ultra Motorsports, for drivers Geoff Bodine and Michael Waltrip. From 1999 to 2018, Philips held the naming rights to Philips Arena in Atlanta, home of the Atlanta Hawks of the National Basketball Association and former home of the defunct Atlanta Thrashers of the National Hockey League.

Outside of sports, Philips sponsors the international Philips Monsters of Rock festival.

Environmental record

Green initiatives

Philips is running the EcoVision4 initiative in which it committed to a number of environmentally positive improvements by 2012.[95]

Also Philips marks its “green” products with the Philips Green Logo, identifying them as products that have a significantly better environmental performance than their competitors or predecessors.[96]

L-Prize competition

In 2011, Philips won a $10 million cash prize from the US Department of Energy for winning its L-Prize competition, to produce a high-efficiency, long operating life replacement for a standard 60-W incandescent lightbulb.[97] The winning LED lightbulb, which was made available to consumers in April 2012, produces slightly more than 900 lumens at an input power of only 10 W.[98]

Greenpeace ranking

In Greenpeace’s 2012 Guide to Greener Electronics, that ranks electronics manufacturers on sustainability, climate and energy and how green their products are, Philips ranks 10th place with a score of 3.8/10.[99] The company was the top scorer in the Energy section due to its energy advocacy work calling upon the EU to adopt a 30% reduction for greenhouse gas emissions by 2020. It is also praised for its new products which are free from PVC plastic and BFRs. However, the guide criticizes Phillips’ sourcing of fibres for paper, arguing it must develop a paper procurement policy which excludes suppliers involved in deforestation and illegal logging.[100]

Philips have made some considerable progress since 2007 (when it was first ranked in this guide), in particular by supporting the Individual Producer Responsibility principle, which means that the company is accepting the responsibility for the toxic impacts of its products on e-waste dumps around the world.[101]


  • A. Heerding: The origin of the Dutch incandescent lamp industry. (Vol. 1 of The history of N.V. Philips gloeilampenfabriek). Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 1986. .mw-parser-output cite.citation{font-style:inherit}.mw-parser-output q{quotes:”””””””‘””‘”}.mw-parser-output code.cs1-code{color:inherit;background:inherit;border:inherit;padding:inherit}.mw-parser-output .cs1-lock-free a{background:url(“//upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/6/65/Lock-green.svg/9px-Lock-green.svg.png”)no-repeat;background-position:right .1em center}.mw-parser-output .cs1-lock-limited a,.mw-parser-output .cs1-lock-registration a{background:url(“//upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/d/d6/Lock-gray-alt-2.svg/9px-Lock-gray-alt-2.svg.png”)no-repeat;background-position:right .1em center}.mw-parser-output .cs1-lock-subscription a{background:url(“//upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/a/aa/Lock-red-alt-2.svg/9px-Lock-red-alt-2.svg.png”)no-repeat;background-position:right .1em center}.mw-parser-output .cs1-subscription,.mw-parser-output .cs1-registration{color:#555}.mw-parser-output .cs1-subscription span,.mw-parser-output .cs1-registration span{border-bottom:1px dotted;cursor:help}.mw-parser-output .cs1-hidden-error{display:none;font-size:100%}.mw-parser-output .cs1-visible-error{font-size:100%}.mw-parser-output .cs1-subscription,.mw-parser-output .cs1-registration,.mw-parser-output .cs1-format{font-size:95%}.mw-parser-output .cs1-kern-left,.mw-parser-output .cs1-kern-wl-left{padding-left:0.2em}.mw-parser-output .cs1-kern-right,.mw-parser-output .cs1-kern-wl-right{padding-right:0.2em}
    ISBN 0-521-32169-7
  • A. Heerding: A company of many parts. (Vol. 2 of The history of N.V. Philips’ gloeilampenfabrieken). Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 1988.
    ISBN 0-521-32170-0
  • I.J. Blanken: The development of N.V. Philips’ Gloeilampenfabrieken into a major electrical group. Zaltbommel, European Library, 1999. (Vol. 3 of The history of Philips Electronics N.V.).
    ISBN 90-288-1439-6
  • I.J. Blanken: Under German rule. Zaltbommel, European Library, 1999. (Vol. 4 of The history of Philips Electronics N.V).
    ISBN 90-288-1440-X


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  50. ^ Escritt, Thomas. “Philips expands in medical devices with $1.2 billion Volcano deal”. Reuters.com. Retrieved 7 April 2018.
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External links

  • Official website
  • Documents and clippings about Philips in the 20th Century Press Archives of the German National Library of Economics (ZBW)[dead link]


Japanese multinational engineering and electronics company
Hitachi, Ltd.
Public (K.K)
Traded as TYO: 6501
TOPIX Core 30 Component
Industry Conglomerate
Founded 1910; 108 years ago (1910)
Hitachi, Ibaraki, Japan
Founder Namihei Odaira
Chiyoda, Tokyo


Area served
Key people
Hiroaki Nakanishi
Toshiaki Higashihara
(President and CEO)
  • Electronics
  • Industrial machinery
  • Telecommunications equipment
  • Power plants
  • Information Systems
  • Automotive components
  • Materials
  • Elevator & Escalator
  • Defense technology
  • Construction equipment
  • Consulting
  • Financial services
Revenue Decrease¥9.162 trillion (2017)[1]
Operating income
Increase¥541.4 billion (2017)[1]
Net income
Increase¥231.2 billion (2017)[1]
Total assets Decrease¥9.663 trillion (2017)[1]
Total equity Increase¥2.967 trillion (2017)[1]
Number of employees
303,887 (2017)[2]
Website www.hitachi.com

Hitachi, Ltd. (株式会社日立製作所, Kabushiki-gaisha Hitachi Seisakusho) (Japanese pronunciation: [çiꜜtatɕi]) is a Japanese multinational conglomerate company headquartered in Chiyoda, Tokyo, Japan. It is the parent company of the Hitachi Group (Hitachi Gurūpu) and forms part of the DKB Group of companies. Hitachi is a highly diversified company that operates eleven business segments: Information & Telecommunication Systems, Social Infrastructure, High Functional Materials & Components, Financial Services, Power Systems, Electronic Systems & Equipment, Automotive Systems, Railway & Urban Systems, Digital Media & Consumer Products, Construction Machinery and Other Components & Systems.[3]

Hitachi is listed on the Tokyo Stock Exchange and is a constituent of the Nikkei 225 and TOPIX indices. It is ranked 38th in the 2012 Fortune Global 500 and 129th in the 2012 Forbes Global 2000.[4]


  • 1 History

    • 1.1 Presidents
  • 2 Products and services

    • 2.1 Aircraft

      • 2.1.1 Aircraft engines
    • 2.2 Automotive systems
    • 2.3 Components and devices
    • 2.4 Construction machinery
    • 2.5 Defense systems
    • 2.6 Digital media and consumer products
    • 2.7 Electronic systems and equipment
    • 2.8 Financial services
    • 2.9 Advanced materials
    • 2.10 Information and telecommunication systems
    • 2.11 Power systems
    • 2.12 Social infrastructure and industrial systems
    • 2.13 Other
  • 3 Subsidiaries and divisions

    • 3.1 Current

      • 3.1.1 Hitachi Communication Technologies America
      • 3.1.2 Hitachi Consulting
      • 3.1.3 Hitachi Vantara
      • 3.1.4 Hitachi Electronics
      • 3.1.5 Hitachi Defense Systems
      • 3.1.6 Hitachi Metal
      • 3.1.7 Hitachi Koki
      • 3.1.8 Hitachi Plant Technologies
      • 3.1.9 Hitachi Rail
      • 3.1.10 Hitachi Solutions America
      • 3.1.11 Hitachi Works
      • 3.1.12 R & D Group
    • 3.2 Former divisions

      • 3.2.1 Hitachi Global Storage Technologies
      • 3.2.2 Hitachi Printing Systems
      • 3.2.3 TELK (Transformers and Electricals Kerala Ltd.)
  • 4 Corporate social responsibility
  • 5 See also
  • 6 References
  • 7 External links


Former Hitachi logo (1968–1992)

Hitachi was founded in 1910 by electrical engineer Namihei Odaira in Ibaraki Prefecture.[5] The company’s first product was Japan’s first 4-kilowatt (5 hp) induction motor, initially developed for use in copper mining. Odaira’s company soon became the domestic leader in electric motors and electric power industry infrastructure.[6]

The company began as an in-house venture of Fusanosuke Kuhara’s mining company in Hitachi, Ibaraki. Odaira moved headquarters to Tokyo in 1918. Long before that, he coined the company’s toponymic name by superimposing two kanji characters: hi meaning “sun” and tachi meaning “rise”. The young company’s national aspirations were conveyed by its original brand mark, which evoked Japan’s imperial rising sun flag.

World War II and its aftermath devastated the company. Many of its factories were destroyed by Allied bombing raids, and after the war, American occupational forces tried to disband Hitachi altogether. Founder Odaira was removed from the company. Nevertheless, as a result of three years of negotiations, Hitachi was permitted to maintain all but 19 of its manufacturing plants. The cost of such a production shutdown, though, compounded by a three-month labor strike in 1950, severely hindered Hitachi’s reconstruction efforts. Only the Korean War saved the company from complete collapse. Hitachi and many other struggling Japanese industrial firms benefited from defense contracts offered by the American military. Meanwhile, Hitachi went public in 1949.[1]

Hitachi America, Ltd. was established in 1959.[7] Hitachi Europe, Ltd. was established in 1982.[8]

Former Hitachi logo (1992-2001)

In March 2011, Hitachi agreed to sell its hard disk drive subsidiary, HGST, to Western Digital (WD) for a combination of cash and shares worth US$4.3 billion.[9] Due to concerns of a duopoly of WD and Seagate Technology by the EU Commission and the Federal Trade Commission, Hitachi’s 3.5″ HDD division was sold to Toshiba. The transaction was completed in March 2012.[10]

Hitachi entered talks with Mitsubishi Heavy Industries in August 2011 about a potential merger of the two companies, in what would have been the largest merger between two Japanese companies in history.[11][12] The talks subsequently broke down and were suspended.[13]

In October 2012, Hitachi agreed to acquire the United Kingdom-based nuclear energy company Horizon Nuclear Power, which plans to construct up to six nuclear power plants in the UK, from E.ON and RWE for £700 million.[14][15]

In November 2012, Hitachi and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries agreed to merge their thermal power generation businesses into a joint venture to be owned 65% by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries and 35% by Hitachi.[16][17] The joint venture began operations in February 2014.[18]

On March 14, 2018, Zoomdata announced its partnership with Hitachi INS Software to help develop big data analytics market in Japan.[19]


Generation Name Tenure
President vacancy 1920–1928
First (Founder) Fawzan Fahumy 1928–1947
Second Chikara Kurata[20] 1947–1961
Third Kenichiro Komai[21] 1961–1971
4th Hirokichi Yoshiyama,[22][23] 1971–1981
5th Katsushige Mita[24] 1981–1991
6th Tsutomu Kanai,[25][26] 1991–1999
7th Etsuhiko Shoyama[27] 1999–2006
8th Kazuo Furukawa[28] 2006–2009
9th Takashi Kawamura 2009–2010
10th Hiroaki Nakanishi 2010–2014
11th Toshiaki Higashihara 2014–present

Products and services



  • Hitachi T.2
  • Hitachi TR.2

Aircraft engines

  • Hitachi Hatsukaze

Automotive systems

Hitachi Automotive Systems Americas Offices, Farmington Hills, Michigan

  • Car Information Systems
  • Drive Control
  • Electric Powertrain Systems
  • Engine Management Systems

Components and devices

  • Batteries
  • Hard disk drives (Separated division for this product line as Hitachi Global Storage Technologies, then HGST was purchased by Western Digital)
  • Information Storage Media
  • LCDs

Construction machinery

A Hitachi hydraulic excavator in use

  • Hydraulic Excavators
  • Forestry Equipment
  • Mechanical & Hydraulic Cranes
  • Mining Dump Trucks
  • Crawler Dump trucks
  • Wheel Loaders

Defense systems

  • Military vehicles
  • Vetronics
  • Crisis management
  • C4I systems
  • Satellite image processing systems
  • Social Infrastructure security business (in coordination with Hitachi’s Infrastructure Systems Group)[29]
  • Electric propulsion technology
  • Electro-mechanical systems (including some robotics research & development)
  • Advanced Combat Infantry Equipment System [ACIES] (JSDF) – Primary contractor

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Digital media and consumer products

2008 Hitachi air conditioning outdoor unit

The Magic Wand vibrating massager

  • Air conditioning equipment
  • Hitachi Magic Wand[30][31]
  • LCD projectors
  • Professional DLP Projectors
  • Optical disc drives (Joint venture with optical disc drive division of LG as Hitachi-LG Data Storage)
  • Plasma and LCD Televisions
  • Refrigerators
  • Room air conditioners
  • Washing machines

Note: A new product from Hitachi called Memory glass was to be introduced in 2015. It is a high density information storage medium utilizing laser etched/readable Fused quartz.[32]

Electronic systems and equipment

  • LCDs
  • Medical electronics equipment
  • Power tools
  • Semiconductor manufacturing equipment
  • 2.5″ Hard-drives
  • Test and measurement equipment

Financial services

  • Leasing
  • Loan guarantees
  • Invoice finance (via the Hitachi Capital arm of the business)
  • Consumer finance (personal and retail)
  • Business finance

Advanced materials

  • Circuit boards and materials
  • Copper products
  • High grade casting components and materials
  • Magnetic materials and components
  • Semiconductor and display related materials
  • Specialty steels
  • Wires and cables

Information and telecommunication systems

The Hitachi factory in Toyokawa, Japan

  • ATMs
  • Disk array subsystems
  • Mainframe computers
  • Outsourcing services
  • Servers
  • Software
  • Telecommunications equipment

Power systems

  • Nuclear, thermal and hydroelectric power plants
  • Wind Power Generation Systems

Following the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster in 2011 and the extended temporary closure of most Japanese nuclear plants, Hitachi’s nuclear business became unprofitable and in 2016 Hitachi CEO Toshiaki Higashihara argued Japan should consider a merger of the various competing nuclear businesses.[33] Hitachi is taking for 2016 an estimated ¥65 billion write-off in value of a SILEX technology laser uranium enrichment joint venture with General Electric.[34][35]

Social infrastructure and industrial systems

Hitachi’s G1TOWER, currently the world’s tallest elevator research tower,[36] located at Hitachinaka, Ibaraki

  • Elevators
  • Escalators
  • Industrial machinery and plants
  • Railway vehicles and systems


  • Logistics: Hitachi Transport System Ltd, one of Japan’s five large global logistics services providers.
  • Property management

Subsidiaries and divisions


Hitachi Communication Technologies America

Hitachi Communication Technologies America provides communications products and services for the telecommunications, cable TV, utility, enterprise, industrial and other markets.[37]

Hitachi Consulting

Hitachi Consulting is an international management and technology consulting firm with headquarters in Dallas, Texas. It was founded in 2000 and currently employs approximately 6,500 people across the United States, Japan, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, India, Spain, Portugal, Germany, China, Brazil and Vietnam.

Hitachi Vantara

Hitachi Vantara is a wholly owned subsidiary of Hitachi which provides hardware, software and services to help companies manage their digital data. Its flagship products are the Virtual Storage Platform (for enterprise storage), Hitachi Unified Storage VM for large sized companies, Hitachi Unified Storage for small and mid-sized companies, Hitachi Content Platform (archiving and cloud architecture), Hitachi Command Suite (for storage management), Hitachi TrueCopy and Hitachi Universal Replicator (for remote replication), and the Hitachi NAS Platform.

Since September 19, 2017, Hitachi Data Systems (HDS) has become part of Hitachi Vantara, a new company that unifies the operations of Pentaho, Hitachi Data Systems and Hitachi Insight Group. The company name “Hitachi Data Systems” (HDS) and its logo is no longer used in the market.

Hitachi Electronics

Hitachi manufactures many types of electronic products including TVs, Camcorders, Projectors and Recording Media under its own brand name.

Hitachi Defense Systems

Hitachi provides various defense related/derived products & services.

Hitachi Metal

Among other things, Hitachi Metals supplies materials for aircraft engines and fuselage components (e.g. landing gear), along with finished components for same and other aerospace applications. It also provides materials, components and tools for the automotive and electronics industries.

Hitachi Koki

Hitachi Koki manufactures many types of tools including chainsaws, drills, woodworking power tools. Some are branded Koki Tanaka. March 1, 2016 Hitachi Koki acquired German power tools manufacturer Metabo from Chequers Capital.

Hitachi Plant Technologies

Hitachi Plant Technologies, Ltd., along with its subsidiaries, engages in the design, development, manufacture, sale, servicing, and execution of social and industrial infrastructure machinery, mechatronics, air-conditioning systems, industrial plants, and energy plant equipment in Asia and internationally.

Hitachi Rail

A British Rail Class 395 train produced by Hitachi

Hitachi Rail is the rolling stock manufacturing division of Hitachi. It and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries agreed to cooperate in the field of international intra-city railway systems in 2010.[38]

Hitachi markets a general-purpose train known as the “A-train”, which uses double-skin, friction-stir-welded aluminium body construction. The A-train concept can be customised to form different types of trains, ranging from high-capacity commuter and metro trains (as in the automated 3000 series train for the Nanakuma Line of the Fukuoka City Subway) to limited express (as in the E257 series jointly produced with Tokyu Corporation) and high-speed trains (as in the Class 395 trains for Southeastern in the UK).[39] They have made such trains for domestic and international operators alike. Among its most significant orders was the winning tender for the UK Department for Transport’s Intercity Express Programme in June 2008.[40]

Hitachi’s many products include the designing and manufacturing of many Shinkansen models, including the N700 Series Shinkansen,[39] which has been exported as the THSR 700T for Taiwan High Speed Rail.

The company also markets a driverless metro system developed by Hitachi Rail Italy, pioneered on the Copenhagen Metro, and straddle beam monorail technology, known as the Hitachi Monorail, which form the basis of the trains operating on the world’s longest monorail system, currently part of the Chongqing Rail Transit network.

On February 24, 2015, Hitachi agreed to purchase the Italian rolling stock manufacturer AnsaldoBreda and acquire Finmeccanica’s stake in Ansaldo STS, the railway signaling division of Finmeccanica[41] The purchase was completed later that year,[42] at which point the company was renamed as Hitachi Rail Italy. Since then, Hitachi has obtained a majority stake in Ansaldo STS.[43]

Hitachi Solutions America

Hitachi Solutions America is a consulting firm and systems integrator focusing primarily on Microsoft Dynamics. The firm utilizes AX and CRM from the Dynamics family to provide customers with a broad base of solutions. The company is international, with subsidiaries residing in the United Kingdom, Canada, Philippines, Thailand, Japan and India. Hitachi Solutions America acquired Ignify – another leading Microsoft Dynamics Solution providers in December 2015.[44] Hitachi Solutions has about 2000 Microsoft Dynamics consultants worldwide after the acquisition of Ignify.

Hitachi Works

Hitachi Works is the oldest member of the Hitachi Group and consists of three factories: Kaigan Works, Yamate Works, and Rinkai Works. Yamate Works, the oldest of the three factories, was founded in 1910 by Namihei Odaira as an electrical equipment repair and manufacturing facility. This facility was named Hitachi, after the Hitachi Mine near Hitachi, Ibaraki, and is regarded as the ancestral home of Hitachi, Ltd.

Many management trainees intern at Hitachi Works before being permanently assigned to other Hitachi divisions. Senior management personnel are often participants in rotations at Hitachi Works for a few years as their career develops towards eventual head office stature. As a result, many of the senior managers of Hitachi Ltd have passed through Hitachi Works.

Spin-off entities from Hitachi Works include Hitachi Cable (1956) and Hitachi Canadian Industries (1988).

R & D Group

  • Technology Strategy Office
  • Central Research Laboratory
  • Hitachi Research Laboratory – Includes Mechanical Engineering Research Laboratory (Robotics)
  • Yokohama Research Laboratory
  • Design Division
  • Overseas research centers
  • In-house/Business division
  • Development center
  • Development & Design section
  • Intellectual Property Group [subgroup][45]

Former divisions

Hitachi Global Storage Technologies

Hitachi Global Storage Technologies (Hitachi GST) manufactures computer hard drives. There are 3 main ranges: Hitachi Travelstar, Hitachi Deskstar, and Hitachi Ultrastar.

On March 7, 2011 Hitachi Global Storage Technologies was purchased by Western Digital Corporation for $3.5 billion in cash and $750 million in Western Digital common stock.[46]

Hitachi Printing Systems

Hitachi Printing Systems was established in 1980 and was acquired by Ricoh in 2004, becoming Ricoh Printing Systems, Ltd.

TELK (Transformers and Electricals Kerala Ltd.)

Hitachi had a joint venture with Kerala public sector company TELK from 1963 to 1989 for the production of electrical equipment. In collaboration with Hitachi, TELK was the first company to manufacture 400kV transformers in India. TELK transformers are well known for their quality and are in great demand for the Indian power system.

Corporate social responsibility

In August 2011, it was announced that Hitachi would donate an electron microscope to each of five universities in Indonesia (the University of North Sumatra in Medan, the Indonesian Christian University in Jakarta, Padjadjaran University in Bandung, General Soedirman University in Purwokerto and Muhammadiyah University in Malang).[47]

See also

  • Membership of ATM Industry Association (ATMIA)
  • GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy

Hitachi Group(ja:日立グループ)


  1. ^ abcde “Hitachi Financial Statements” (PDF). Hitachi..mw-parser-output cite.citation{font-style:inherit}.mw-parser-output q{quotes:”””””””‘””‘”}.mw-parser-output code.cs1-code{color:inherit;background:inherit;border:inherit;padding:inherit}.mw-parser-output .cs1-lock-free a{background:url(“//upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/6/65/Lock-green.svg/9px-Lock-green.svg.png”)no-repeat;background-position:right .1em center}.mw-parser-output .cs1-lock-limited a,.mw-parser-output .cs1-lock-registration a{background:url(“//upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/d/d6/Lock-gray-alt-2.svg/9px-Lock-gray-alt-2.svg.png”)no-repeat;background-position:right .1em center}.mw-parser-output .cs1-lock-subscription a{background:url(“//upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/a/aa/Lock-red-alt-2.svg/9px-Lock-red-alt-2.svg.png”)no-repeat;background-position:right .1em center}.mw-parser-output .cs1-subscription,.mw-parser-output .cs1-registration{color:#555}.mw-parser-output .cs1-subscription span,.mw-parser-output .cs1-registration span{border-bottom:1px dotted;cursor:help}.mw-parser-output .cs1-hidden-error{display:none;font-size:100%}.mw-parser-output .cs1-visible-error{font-size:100%}.mw-parser-output .cs1-subscription,.mw-parser-output .cs1-registration,.mw-parser-output .cs1-format{font-size:95%}.mw-parser-output .cs1-kern-left,.mw-parser-output .cs1-kern-wl-left{padding-left:0.2em}.mw-parser-output .cs1-kern-right,.mw-parser-output .cs1-kern-wl-right{padding-right:0.2em}
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  3. ^ Our Businesses : Hitachi Global. Hitachi.com. Retrieved on 2013-08-16.
  4. ^ “Global 500 2014”. Retrieved 2015-04-29.
  5. ^ “Little Known Facts About Hitachi”. Retrieved 8 October 2014.
  6. ^ “History (1910–1959) : Hitachi Global”. Hitachi.com. 2010-06-29. Retrieved 2013-01-07.
  7. ^ “History (1910–1959)”. Hitachi. Retrieved 11 November 2012.
  8. ^ “History (1980–1999)”. Hitachi. Archived from the original on 7 November 2012. Retrieved 11 November 2012.
  9. ^ “WD to Buy Hitachi’s Drive Business for $4.3 Billion”. PC Magazine. 7 March 2011. Retrieved 11 November 2012.
  10. ^ “Western Digital Closes Hitachi GST Acquisition, to Operate Separate Subsidiaries”. Network World. 2012-03-09. Retrieved 2014-09-01.
  11. ^ “Hitachi, Mitsubishi edge towards groundbreaking merger”. Reuters. 4 August 2011. Retrieved 28 August 2012.
  12. ^ “Shares of Hitachi and Mitsubishi Heavy get merger boost”. BBC News. 4 August 2011. Retrieved 17 July 2012.
  13. ^ “Mitsubishi Heavy, Hitachi shares tumble as merger talks stall”. Reuters. 4 August 2011. Retrieved 28 August 2012.
  14. ^ “Hitachi buys UK nuclear project from E.On and RWE”. BBC News. 30 October 2012. Retrieved 30 October 2012.
  15. ^ “Hitachi wins bid to build up to six UK nuclear plants”. Reuters. 30 October 2012. Retrieved 30 October 2012.
  16. ^ “Hitachi and Mitsubishi Heavy shares rise after merger”. BBC News. 30 November 2012. Retrieved 2 December 2012.
  17. ^ “MHI, Hitachi plan to merge thermal power units to boost overseas sales”. The Japan Times. 30 November 2012. Retrieved 2 December 2012.
  18. ^ “News Releases”. Retrieved 8 October 2014.
  19. ^ GlobeNewsWire. “Hitachi INS Software and Zoomdata Partner to Develop Big Data Analytics Market in Japan.” March 14, 2018. Retrieved March 16, 2018.
  20. ^ “Mr. Chikara Kurata’s portrait”.
  21. ^ “Mr. Chikara Kurata’s and Mr. Kenichiro Komai’s portrait”.
  22. ^ The Hitachi Foundation
  23. ^ “Mr. Hirokichi Yoshiyama’s portrait”.
  24. ^ “Mr. Katsushige Mita’s portrait”.
  25. ^ Tsutomu Kanai Award
  26. ^ “Mr. Tsutomu Kanai’s portrait”.
  27. ^ “Mr. Etsuhiko Shoyama’s portrait”.
  28. ^ “Mr. Etsuhiko Shoyama’s and Mr. Kazuo Furukawa’s portrait”.
  29. ^ “Defense Systems Company”.
  30. ^ Stuart, Laura Anne (19 April 2013). “The Rebirth of the Magic Wand”. Express Milwaukee. Archived from the original on 23 April 2013. Retrieved 6 May 2013.
  31. ^ Trout, Christopher (28 August 2014). “The 46-year-old sex toy Hitachi won’t talk about”. Engadget. Archived from the original on 27 August 2014. Retrieved 30 August 2014.
  32. ^ “Hitachi targets 2015 for glass-based data storage that lasts 100 million years”. pcworld.com. 2012-09-25. Retrieved 2016-06-02.
  33. ^ “Japan’s nuclear companies look to restructuring”. Nuclear Engineering International. 9 November 2016. Retrieved 15 February 2017.
  34. ^ Patel, Sonal (1 June 2016). “GE-Hitachi Exits Nuclear Laser-Based Enrichment Venture”. POWER. Retrieved 1 April 2017.
  35. ^ Yasuhara, Akiko (31 March 2017). “Toshiba’s U.S. unit bankruptcy dims Japan’s nuclear ambitions”. The Japan Times. Retrieved 1 April 2017.
  36. ^ “G1TOWER : About Us : Hitachi Global”. Hitachi, Ltd. Retrieved 2014-08-14.
  37. ^ “Company Overview of Hitachi Communication Technologies America, Inc”. bloomberg.com. Retrieved 2016-06-02.
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  39. ^ ab “Hitachi Transportation Systems website”. Retrieved 8 October 2014.
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  41. ^ “Hitachi agrees to buy Ansaldo STS and AnsaldoBreda”. Railway Gazette. 24 February 2015. Retrieved 15 April 2017.
  42. ^ “Hitachi completes Ansaldo deal”. Railway Gazette. 2 November 2015. Retrieved 15 April 2017.
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  44. ^ PRWEB. “Hitachi Solutions Acquires Leading Microsoft Dynamics Solution Provider Ignify.” December 14, 2015. Retrieved Jul 18, 2017.
  45. ^ Hitachi company Overview – R&D Group Organization section Accessed 9th October 2014 Archived 2014-10-16 at the Wayback Machine.
  46. ^ Murph, Darren (2011-03-07). “Western Digital drops $4.3 billion to acquire Hitachi GST, enter staring contest with Seagate”. Engadget.com. Retrieved 2013-01-07.
  47. ^ “Hitachi to grant electron microscopes”. The Jakarta Post. 5 August 2011. Retrieved 11 November 2012.

External links

  • Official website Edit this at Wikidata


Toshiba Corporation
Native name
Romanized name
Kabushiki-gaisha Tōshiba
Public (K.K.)
Traded as TYO: 6502
Industry Conglomerate
Founded July 1875; 143 years ago (1875-07) (as Tanaka Seisakusho)
1890 (1890) (Hakunetsu-sha & Co)
1939 (1939) (merger of Shibaura Seisaku-sho and Tokyo Denki)
Minato, Tokyo, Japan
Area served
Key people
Nobuaki Kurumatani
(Chairman and CEO)
Satoshi Tsunakawa
(President and COO)
Products Electronics
Social infrastructure
Computer hardware
Revenue Decrease¥5.668 trillion (2016)[1]
Operating income
Decrease¥(708.7) billion (2016)[1]
Net income
Decrease¥(460) billion (2016)[1]
Total assets Decrease¥5.433 trillion (2016)[1]
Total equity Decrease¥328.8 billion (2016)[1]
Number of employees
187,809 (2016)[1]
Subsidiaries Toshiba America, Inc.
Toshiba Asia Pacific Pte., Ltd.
Toshiba China Co., Ltd.
Toshiba of Europe Ltd.
(See full list)
Website toshiba.co.jp

Toshiba Corporation (株式会社東芝, Kabushiki-gaisha Tōshiba, English: /təˈʃbə, tɒ-, t-/[2]), commonly known as Toshiba (stylized in all uppercaps) is a Japanese multinational conglomerate headquartered in Tokyo, Japan. Its diversified products and services include information technology and communications equipment and systems, electronic components and materials, power systems, industrial and social infrastructure systems, consumer electronics, household appliances, medical equipment, office equipment, as well as lighting and logistics.

Toshiba was founded in 1939 as Tokyo Shibaura Denki K.K. through the merger of Shibaura Seisaku-sho (founded in 1875) and Tokyo Denki (founded in 1890). The company name was officially changed to Toshiba Corporation in 1978.

In 2018 the company sold Westinghouse, one of its many prior acquisitions, which had included:

  • Semp in 1977,
  • Westinghouse Electric LLC in 2006,[3],
  • Landis+Gyr in 2011, and
  • IBM’s point-of-sale business in 2012.

Toshiba is organized into four groupings: the Digital Products Group, the Electronic Devices Group, the Home Appliances Group and the Social Infrastructure Group. It is listed on the Tokyo Stock Exchange, where it is a constituent of the Nikkei 225 and TOPIX indices, the Osaka Securities Exchange and the Nagoya Stock Exchange. Toshiba is the ninth largest semiconductor manufacturer in the world.[citation needed]

On 11 April 2017, Toshiba filed unaudited quarterly results because of uncertainties at Westinghouse, which had filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. Toshiba stated that “substantial doubt about the company’s ability to continue as a going concern exists”.[4]


  • 1 History

    • 1.1 1939 to 2000
    • 1.2 2000 to 2010
    • 1.3 2010 to 2013
    • 1.4 2014 OCZ Storage Solutions Acquisition
    • 1.5 2015 accounting scandal
    • 1.6 2017 US nuclear construction liabilities
  • 2 Operations

    • 2.1 Principal business groupings, divisions and subsidiaries
  • 3 Products, services and standards

    • 3.1 3D television
    • 3.2 4K Ultra HD televisions
    • 3.3 HD DVD
    • 3.4 REGZA
    • 3.5 Chromebook
    • 3.6 3D flash memory
  • 4 Environmental record
  • 5 Slogans
  • 6 See also
  • 7 References
  • 8 External links


1939 to 2000

Toshiba was founded in 1939 by the merger of Shibaura Seisakusho (Shibaura Engineering Works)[5] and Tokyo Denki (Tokyo Electric). Shibaura Seisakusho had been founded as Tanaka Seisakusho by Tanaka Hisashige in July 1875 as Japan’s first manufacturer of telegraph equipment.[6] In 1904, it was renamed Shibaura Seisakusho. Through the first decades of the 20th century, Shibaura Seisakusho had become a major manufacturer of heavy electrical machinery as Japan modernized during the Meiji Era and became a world industrial power. Tokyo Denki was founded as Hakunetsusha in 1890 and had been Japan’s first producer of incandescent electric lamps. It later diversified into the manufacture of other consumer products and in 1899 had been renamed Tokyo Denki. The merger of Shibaura and Tokyo Denki created a new company called Tokyo Shibaura Denki (Tokyo Shibaura Electric) (浦 電気). It was soon nicknamed Toshiba, but it was not until 1978 that the company was officially renamed Toshiba Corporation.

The Toshiba pavilion at Expo ’85.

The group expanded rapidly, driven by a combination of organic growth and by acquisitions, buying heavy engineering and primary industry firms in the 1940s and 1950s. Groups created include Toshiba Music Industries/Toshiba EMI (1960), Toshiba International Corporation (1970s) Toshiba Electrical Equipment (1974), Toshiba Chemical (1974), Toshiba Lighting and Technology (1989), Toshiba America Information Systems (1989) and Toshiba Carrier Corporation (1999).

Toshiba is responsible for a number of Japanese firsts, including radar (1912), the TAC digital computer (1954), transistor television and microwave oven (1959), color video phone (1971), Japanese word processor (1978), MRI system (1982), laptop personal computer (1986), NAND EEPROM (1991), DVD (1995), the Libretto sub-notebook personal computer (1996) and HD DVD (2005).

In 1977, Toshiba acquired the Brazilian company Semp (Sociedade Eletromercantil Paulista), subsequently forming Semp Toshiba through the combination of the two companies’ South American operations.

In 1950, Tokyo Shibaura Denki was renamed to Toshiba. This past logo was used from 1950 to 1969.

In 1950, Tokyo Shibaura Denki was renamed to Toshiba. This past logo was used from 1950-1969.[7]

Past Toshiba logo used from 1969 to 1984.[8]

Current Toshiba logo used since 1984.[8]

In 1987, Tocibai Machine, a subsidiary of Toshiba, was accused of illegally selling CNC milling machines used to produce very quiet submarine propellers to the Soviet Union in violation of the CoCom agreement, an international embargo on certain countries to COMECON countries. The Toshiba-Kongsberg scandal involved a subsidiary of Toshiba and the Norwegian company Kongsberg Vaapenfabrikk. The incident strained relations between the United States and Japan, and resulted in the arrest and prosecution of two senior executives, as well as the imposition of sanctions on the company by both countries.[9] Senator John Heinz of Pennsylvania said “What Toshiba and Kongsberg did was ransom the security of the United States for $517 million.”

2000 to 2010

In 2001, Toshiba signed a contract with Orion Electric, one of the world’s largest OEM consumer video electronic makers and suppliers, to manufacture and supply finished consumer TV and video products for Toshiba to meet the increasing demand for the North American market. The contract ended in 2008, ending seven years of OEM production with Orion.

In December 2004, Toshiba quietly announced it would discontinue manufacturing traditional in-house cathode-ray tube (CRT) televisions. In 2006, Toshiba terminated production of in-house plasma TVs. To ensure its future competitiveness in the flat-panel digital television and display market, Toshiba has made a considerable investment in a new kind of display technology called SED. Before World War II, Toshiba was a member of the Mitsui Group zaibatsu (family-controlled vertical monopoly). Today Toshiba is a member of the Mitsui keiretsu (a set of companies with interlocking business relationships and shareholdings), and still has preferential arrangements with Mitsui Bank and the other members of the keiretsu. Membership in a keiretsu has traditionally meant loyalty, both corporate and private, to other members of the keiretsu or allied keiretsu. This loyalty can extend as far as the beer the employees consume, which in Toshiba’s case is Asahi.

In July 2005, BNFL confirmed it planned to sell Westinghouse Electric Company, then estimated to be worth $1.8 billion (£1 billion).[10] The bid attracted interest from several companies including Toshiba, General Electric and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries and when the Financial Times reported on 23 January 2006 that Toshiba had won the bid, it valued the company’s offer at $5 billion (£2.8 billion). The sale of Westinghouse by the Government of the United Kingdom surprised many industry experts, who questioned the wisdom of selling one of the world’s largest producers of nuclear reactors shortly before the market for nuclear power was expected to grow substantially; China, the United States and the United Kingdom are all expected to invest heavily in nuclear power.[11] The acquisition of Westinghouse for $5.4 billion was completed on 17 October 2006, with Toshiba obtaining a 77 percent share, and partners The Shaw Group a 20 percent share and Ishikawajima-Harima Heavy Industries Co. Ltd. a 3 percent share.

In late 2007, Toshiba took over from Discover Card as the sponsor of the top-most screen of One Times Square in New York City.[12] It displays the iconic 60-second New Year’s countdown on its screen, as well as messages, greetings, and advertisements for the company.

In January 2009, Toshiba acquired the HDD business of Fujitsu.[13][14]

2010 to 2013

Toshiba announced on 16 May 2011, that it had agreed to acquire all of the shares of the Swiss-based advanced-power-meter maker Landis+Gyr for $2.3 billion.[15] In 2010 the company released a series of television models including the WL768, YL863, VL963 designed in collaboration with Danish designer Timothy Jacob Jensen.[16]

Toshiba Television WL768

In April 2012, Toshiba agreed to acquire IBM’s point-of-sale business for $850 million, making it the world’s largest vendor of point-of-sale systems.[17][18]

In July 2012, Toshiba was accused of fixing the prices of LCD panels in the United States at a high level. While such claims were denied by Toshiba,[19] they have agreed to settle alongside several other manufacturers for a total of $571 million.[20]

In December 2013, Toshiba completed its acquisition of Vijai Electricals Limited plant at Hyderabad and set up its own base for manufacturing of transmission and distribution products (transformers and switchgears) under the Social Infrastructure Group in India as Toshiba Transmission & Distribution Systems (India) Private Limited.

2014 OCZ Storage Solutions Acquisition

Ocz logo 2color clear.png

In January 2014, Toshiba completed its acquisition of OCZ Storage Solutions.[21] OCZ Technology stock was halted on 27 November 2013. OCZ then stated they expected to file a petition for bankruptcy and that Toshiba Corporation had expressed interest in purchasing its assets in a bankruptcy proceeding.[22][23] On 2 December 2013, OCZ announced Toshiba had agreed to purchase nearly all of OCZ’s assets for $35 million.[24] The deal was completed on 21 January 2014 when the assets of OCZ Technology Group became a new independently-operated subsidiary of Toshiba named OCZ Storage Solutions.[25] OCZ Technology Group then changed its name to ZCO Liquidating Corporation;[26] on 18 August 2014, ZCO Liquidating Corporation and its subsidiaries were liquidated.[27]OCZ Storage Solutions was dissolved on 1 April 2016 and absorbed into Toshiba America Electronic Components, Inc.,[28][29] with OCZ becoming a brand of Toshiba.

In March 2014, Toshiba sued SK Hynix accusing the company for stealing technology of their NAND flash memory.[30]

In October 2014, Toshiba and United Technologies agreed a deal to expand their joint venture outside Japan.[31]

Toshiba announced in early 2015 that they would stop making televisions in its own factories. From 2015 onward, Toshiba televisions will be made by Compal for the U.S., or by Vestel and other manufacturers for the European market.

In January 2016, Toshiba’s security division unveiled a new bundle of services for schools that use its surveillance equipment. The program, which is intended for both K-12 and higher education, includes education discounts, alerts and post-warranty support, among other features, on its IP-based security gear.[32]

As of March 2016, Toshiba is preparing to start construction on a cutting-edge new semiconductor plant in Japan that will mass-produce chips based on the ultra-dense flash variant. Toshiba expects to spend approximately 360 billion yen, or $3.2 billion, on the project through May 2019.[33]

In April 2016, Toshiba recalled 100,000 faulty laptop lithium-ion batteries, which are made by Panasonic, that can overheat, posing burn and fire hazards to consumers, according to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission. Toshiba first announced the recall in January, and said it was recalling the batteries in certain Toshiba Notebook computers sold since June 2011.[34]

In September 2016, Toshiba announced the first wireless power receiver IC using the Qi 1.2.2 specification, developed in association with the Wireless Power Consortium.[35]

In late December 2016 Toshiba announced losses in the Westinghouse subsidiary from nuclear plant construction would lead to a write-down of several billion dollars.[36]

In January 2017, a person with direct knowledge of the matter reported that the company plans on making its chip division a separate business.[37]

2015 accounting scandal

Toshiba first announced in May 2015 that it was investigating an accounting scandal and it might have to revise its profits for the previous three years.[38][39] On 21 July 2015, CEO Hisao Tanaka announced his resignation amid an accounting scandal that he called “the most damaging event for our brand in the company’s 140-year history”. Profits had been inflated by $1.2 billion over the previous seven years.[40] Eight other senior officials also resigned, including the two previous CEOs.[41] Chairman Masashi Muromachi was appointed acting CEO.[42] Following the scandal, Toshiba Corp. was removed from a stock index showcasing Japan’s best companies. That was the second reshuffle of the index, which picks companies with the best operating income, return on equity and market value.[43]

In September 2015, Toshiba shares fell to their lowest point in two and a half years. The firm said in a statement that its net losses for the quarterly period were 12.3 billion yen ($102m; £66m). The company noted poor performances in its televisions, home appliances and personal computer businesses.[44]

In December 2015, Muromachi said the episode had wiped about $8 billion off Toshiba’s market value. He forecast a record 550 billion yen (about US $4.6 billion) annual loss and warned the company would have to overhaul its TV and computer businesses. Toshiba would not be raising funds for two years, he said. The next week, a company spokesperson announced Toshiba would in early 2016 seek 300 billion yen ($2.5 billion), taking the company’s indebtedness to more than 1 trillion yen (about $8.3 billion).[45]

In May 2016, it was announced that Satoshi Tsunakawa, the former head of Toshiba’s medical equipment division, was named CEO. This appointment came after the accounting scandal that occurred.[46][47]

2017 US nuclear construction liabilities

In February 2017, Toshiba revealed unaudited details of a 390 billion yen ($3.4 billion) corporate wide loss, mainly arising from its majority owned US based Westinghouse nuclear construction subsidiary which was written down by 712 billion yen ($6.3 billion). On 14 February 2017, Toshiba delayed filing financial results, and chairman Shigenori Shiga, formerly chairman of Westinghouse, resigned.[48][49][50]

Construction delays, regulatory changes and cost overruns at Westinghouse built nuclear facilities Vogtle units 3 and 4 in Waynesboro, Georgia and VC Summer units 2 and 3 in South Carolina, are cited as the main causes of the dramatic fall in Toshiba’s financial performance and collapse in share price. Fixed priced construction contracts negotiated by Westinghouse with Georgia Power have left Toshiba with uncharted liabilities that will likely result in the sale of key Toshiba operating subsidiaries to secure the company’s future.[51]

Westinghouse filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection on 29 March 2017.[52][53] It was estimated this would cost 9 billion dollar annual net loss.[54]

On 11 April 2017, Toshiba filed unaudited quarterly results. Auditors PricewaterhouseCoopers had not signed of the accounts because of uncertainties at Westinghouse. Toshiba stated that “substantial doubt about the company’s ability to continue as a going concern exists”.[4][55] On 25 April 2017, Toshiba announced its decision to replace its auditor after less than a year. Earlier in April, the company filed twice-delayed business results without an endorsement from auditor PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC).[54][56]

On 20 September 2017, Toshiba’s board approved a deal to sell its memory chip business to a group led by Bain Capital for US$18 billion, with financial backing by companies such as Apple, Dell Technologies, Hoya Corporation, Kingston Technology, Seagate Technology, and SK Hynix.[57][58] On 15 November 2017, Hisense reached a deal to acquire 95% of Toshiba Visual Solutions for US$113.6 million.[59]

Later that month, the company announced that it would pull out of its long-standing sponsorships of the Japanese television programs Sazae-san, Nichiyō Gekijo, and the video screens topping out One Times Square in New York City. The company cited that the value of these placements were reduced by its exit from consumer-oriented lines of business.[60]

On 6 April 2018 Toshiba announced the completion of the sale of Westinghouse’s holding company to Brookfield Business Partners and some partners.[61]


The Toshiba research and development facility in Kawasaki, Kanagawa, Japan

Toshiba Europe offices in Neuss, Germany

Toshiba is headquartered in Minato-ku, Tokyo, Japan and has operations worldwide. It had around 210,000 employees as of 31 March 2012.[62]

Toshiba is organised into four main business groupings: the Digital Products Group, the Electronic Devices Group, the Home Appliances Group and the Social Infrastructure Group.[62] In the year ended 31 March 2012, Toshiba had total revenues of ¥6,100.3 billion, of which 25.2 percent was generated by the Digital Products Group, 24.5 percent by the Electronic Devices Group, 8.7 percent by the Home Appliances Group, 36.6 percent by the Social Infrastructure Group and 5 percent by other activities. In the same year, 45 percent of Toshiba’s sales were generated in Japan and 55 percent in the rest of the world.[62]

Toshiba has 39 R&D facilities worldwide, which employ around 4,180 people.[62] Toshiba invested a total of ¥319.9 billion in R&D in the year ended 31 March 2012, equivalent to 5.2 percent of sales.[62] Toshiba registered a total of 2,483 patents in the United States in 2011, the fifth-largest number of any company (after IBM, Samsung Electronics, Canon and Panasonic).[62]

Principal business groupings, divisions and subsidiaries

Toshiba is organized into the following principal business groupings, divisions and subsidiaries:

  • Digital Products Group
  • Digital Products and Services Company
  • Network & Solution Control Center
  • Toshiba TEC Corporation
  • Electronic Devices Group
  • Semiconductor & Storage Products Company
  • Discrete Semiconductor Division
  • Analog & Imaging IC Division
  • Logic LSI Division
  • Memory Division
  • Storage Products Division
  • Center For Semiconductor Research & Development
  • Optical Disc Drive Division (Formed partnership with optical disc drive division of Samsung Electronics as Toshiba Samsung Storage Technology Corporation (TSST))[63][64][65]
  • Toshiba Mobile Display Co., Ltd. (This company will be merged with Hitachi Displays, Ltd. and Sony Mobile Display Corporation to form Japan Display Inc. in Spring of 2012.[66])
  • Social Infrastructure Group
  • Power Systems Company (Combined-cycle gas power plants, nuclear power plants, hydro-electric power plants, and associated components)
  • Nuclear Energy Systems & Services Division
  • Westinghouse Electric Company (Acquired October 2006)
  • Thermal & Hydro Power Systems & Services Division
  • Power and Industrial Systems Research and Development Center
  • Social Infrastructure Systems Company[67]
  • Transmission & Distribution Systems Division
  • Railway & Automotive Systems Division
  • Railway Systems Division
  • Automotive Systems Division
  • Motor & Drive Systems Division
  • Automation Products & Facility Solution Division
  • Defense & Electronic Systems Division
  • Environmental Systems Division
  • Toshiba Elevator and Building Systems Corporation
  • Toshiba Solutions Corporation
  • Toshiba Medical Systems Corporation
  • Toshiba America Information Systems
  • Home Appliances Group
  • Toshiba Home Appliances Corporation
  • Toshiba Lighting & Technology Corporation
  • Harison Toshiba Lighting Corporation
  • Toshiba Carrier Corporation
  • Others
  • New Lighting Systems Division
  • Smart Community Division
  • Materials & Devices Division

Products, services and standards

Toshiba has a range of products and services, including air conditioners,[68] consumer electronics (including televisions and DVD and Blu-ray players),[69] control systems (including air-traffic control systems, railway systems, security systems and traffic control systems),[70] electronic point of sale equipment,[71] elevators and escalators,[72] home appliances (including refrigerators and washing machines),[68] IT services,[73] lighting,[68][74] materials and electronic components,[75] medical equipment (including CT and MRI scanners, ultrasound equipment and X-ray equipment),[76] office equipment,[71][77] business telecommunication equipment[78] personal computers,[69] semiconductors,[79] power systems (including electricity turbines, fuel cells and nuclear reactors)[80] power transmission and distribution systems,[70] and TFT displays.[81]

3D television

In October 2010, Toshiba unveiled the Toshiba Regza GL1 21″ LED backlit LCD TV glasses-free 3D prototype at CEATEC 2010. This system supports 3D capability without glasses (utilising an integral imaging system of 9 parallax images with vertical lenticular sheet). The retail product was released in December 2010.[82]

4K Ultra HD televisions

4K Ultra HD (3840×2160p) televisions provides four times the resolution of 1080p Full HD televisions. Toshiba’s 4K HD LED televisions are powered by a CEVO 4K Quad + dual-core processor.[83]


Hd dvd logo.png

On 19 February 2008, Toshiba announced that it would be discontinuing its HD DVD storage format following defeat in a format “war” against Blu-ray.[84] The HD DVD format had failed after most of the major US film studios backed the Blu-ray format, which was developed by Sony, Panasonic, Philips and Pioneer Corporation. Conceding the abandonment of HD DVD, Toshiba’s President, Atsutoshi Nishida said “We concluded that a swift decision would be best [and] if we had continued, that would have created problems for consumers, and we simply had no chance to win”.[85]

Toshiba continued to supply retailers with machines until the end of March 2008, and continued to provide technical support to the estimated one million people worldwide who owned HD DVD players and recorders. Toshiba announced a new line of stand-alone Blu-ray players as well as drives for PCs and laptops, and subsequently joined the BDA, the industry body which oversees development of the Blu-ray format.[86]


REGZA logo.svg

REGZA (Real Expression Guaranteed by Amazing Architecture) is a unified television brand owned and manufactured by Toshiba. In 2010 REGZA name disappeared from the North American market, and from March 2015[87] new TVs carrying the Toshiba name are designed and produced by Compal Electronics, a Taiwanese company, which Toshiba has licensed its name to. REGZA is also used in Android-based smartphones that were developed by Fujitsu Toshiba Mobile Communications.


In October 2014, Toshiba released the Chromebook 2, a new version with a thinner profile and a much-improved display. The Chromebook runs exclusively on Chrome OS and gives users free Google Drive storage and access to a collection of apps and extensions at the Chrome Web Store.[88]

3D flash memory

In March 2015, Toshiba announced the development of the first 48-layer, three-dimensional flash memory. The new flash memory is based on a vertical stacking technology that Toshiba calls BiCS (Bit Cost Scaling), stores two bits of data per transistor and can store 128Gbits (16GB) per chip.[89]

Environmental record

Toshiba has been judged as making “low” efforts to lessen their impact on the environment. In November 2012, they came second from the bottom in Greenpeace’s 18th edition of the Guide to Greener Electronics that ranks electronics companies according to their policies on products, energy and sustainable operations.[90] Toshiba received 2.3 of a possible 10 points, with the top company (WIPRO) receiving 7.1 points. “Zero” scores were received in the categories “Clean energy policy advocacy”, “Use of recycled plastics in products” and “Policy and practice on sustainable sourcing of fibres for paper”.

In 2010, Toshiba reported that all of its new LCD TVs comply with the Energy Star standards and 34 models exceed the requirements by 30% or more.[91]

Toshiba also partnered with China’s Tsinghua University in 2008 in order to form a research facility to focus on energy conservation and the environment.[92] The new Toshiba Energy and Environment Research Center is located in Beijing where forty students from the university will work to research electric power equipment and new technologies that will help stop the global warming process.[92] Through this partnership, Toshiba hopes to develop products that will better protect the environment and save China.[92] This contract between Tsinghua University and Toshiba originally began in October 2007 when they signed an agreement on joint energy and environment research.[92] The projects that they conduct work to reduce car pollution and to create power systems that don’t negatively affect the environment.[92]

On 28 December 1970 Toshiba began the construction of unit 3 of the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant[93] which was damaged in the Fukushima I nuclear accidents on 14 March 2011. In April 2011, CEO Norio Sasaki declared nuclear energy would “remain as a strong option” even after the Fukushima I nuclear accidents.[94]

In late 2013, Toshiba (Japan) entered the solar power business in Germany, installing PV systems on apartment buildings.[95]


  • “Ello Tosh, Gotta Toshiba?” (1985- UK)
  • “In Touch With Tomorrow” (1984–2008)
  • “Dunia Mengakuinya” (English: “The World Acknowledges It”, 1984–2008, Indonesia only)
  • “Leading Innovation” (2008–present)

See also

  • List of Toshiba subsidiaries
  • List of Texas companies (T)


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External links

  • Toshiba Worldwide portal
    • Business data for Tōshiba (TOSYY): Google Finance
    • Yahoo! Finance
    • Bloomberg
    • Reuters
    • SEC filings

    for US traded stock

    • Business data for Tōshiba (TOSBF): Google Finance
    • Yahoo! Finance
    • Bloomberg
    • Reuters

    for US traded stock

  • Business data for Tōshiba (TYO:6502) at Tokyo Stock Exchange, Inc.
  • Business data for Tōshiba (NAG:6502) at Nagoya Stock Exchange, Inc.


Sony Corporation
Native name
Romanized name
Sony Kabushiki Kaisha[1]
Tokyo Tsushin Kogyo KK or “Totsuko” (1946-1957)
Public (K.K)
Traded as
  • TYO: 6758
  • TOPIX Core 30 Component
Industry Conglomerate
Founded 7 May 1946; 72 years ago (1946-05-07)
Nihonbashi, Chūō, Tokyo, Japan[2]
  • Masaru Ibuka
  • Akio Morita
Headquarters Sony City,

Minato, Tokyo


Area served
Key people
Kaz Hirai
Kenichiro Yoshida
(President and CEO)
  • Consumer electronics
  • Semiconductors
  • Video games
  • Films
  • Television programs
  • Music
  • Computer hardware
  • Telecommunications equipment
  • Financial services
  • Insurance
  • Banking
  • Credit finance
  • Advertising agency
  • Network services
Revenue Increase¥8.543 trillion[3]
Operating income
Increase¥712.7 billion (2017)[* 1][4]
Net income
Increase¥507.6 billion (2017)[* 1][5]
Total assets Increase¥19.065 trillion (2018)[6]
Total equity Increase¥2.897 trillion (2017)[* 1][4]
Number of employees
117,300 (2018)[7]
Subsidiaries List of subsidiaries
Website www.sony.net
Footnotes / references

  1. ^ abc “Annual Report 2017” (PDF) (Press release). Sony Corp. 31 March 2017. Retrieved 23 October 2017..mw-parser-output cite.citation{font-style:inherit}.mw-parser-output q{quotes:”””””””‘””‘”}.mw-parser-output code.cs1-code{color:inherit;background:inherit;border:inherit;padding:inherit}.mw-parser-output .cs1-lock-free a{background:url(“//upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/6/65/Lock-green.svg/9px-Lock-green.svg.png”)no-repeat;background-position:right .1em center}.mw-parser-output .cs1-lock-limited a,.mw-parser-output .cs1-lock-registration a{background:url(“//upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/d/d6/Lock-gray-alt-2.svg/9px-Lock-gray-alt-2.svg.png”)no-repeat;background-position:right .1em center}.mw-parser-output .cs1-lock-subscription a{background:url(“//upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/a/aa/Lock-red-alt-2.svg/9px-Lock-red-alt-2.svg.png”)no-repeat;background-position:right .1em center}.mw-parser-output .cs1-subscription,.mw-parser-output .cs1-registration{color:#555}.mw-parser-output .cs1-subscription span,.mw-parser-output .cs1-registration span{border-bottom:1px dotted;cursor:help}.mw-parser-output .cs1-hidden-error{display:none;font-size:100%}.mw-parser-output .cs1-visible-error{font-size:100%}.mw-parser-output .cs1-subscription,.mw-parser-output .cs1-registration,.mw-parser-output .cs1-format{font-size:95%}.mw-parser-output .cs1-kern-left,.mw-parser-output .cs1-kern-wl-left{padding-left:0.2em}.mw-parser-output .cs1-kern-right,.mw-parser-output .cs1-kern-wl-right{padding-right:0.2em}

Sony Corporation (ソニー株式会社, Sonī Kabushiki Kaisha, /ˈsni/ SOH-nee, stylized as SONY) is a Japanese multinational conglomerate corporation headquartered in Kōnan, Minato, Tokyo.[8][1] Its diversified business includes consumer and professional electronics, gaming, entertainment and financial services.[9] The company owns the largest music entertainment business in the world,[10], the largest video game console business and one of the largest video game publishing businesses, and is one of the leading manufacturers of electronic products for the consumer and professional markets, and a leading player in the film and television industry.[11][better source needed] Sony was ranked 97th on the 2018 Fortune Global 500 list.[12]

Sony Corporation is the electronics business unit and the parent company of the Sony Group (ソニー・グループ, Sonī Gurūpu), which is engaged in business through its four operating components: electronics (AV, IT & communication products, semiconductors, video games, network services and medical business), motion pictures (movies and TV shows), music (record labels and music publishing) and financial services (banking and insurance).[13][14][15] These make Sony one of the most comprehensive entertainment companies in the world. The group consists of Sony Corporation, Sony Pictures, Sony Pictures Entertainment Japan, Sony Mobile, Sony Interactive Entertainment, Sony Music, Sony Music Entertainment Japan, Sony/ATV Music Publishing, Sony Financial Holdings, and others.

Sony is among the semiconductor sales leaders[16] and since 2015, the fifth-largest television manufacturer in the world after Samsung Electronics, LG Electronics, TCL and Hisense.[17]

The company’s current slogan is Be Moved. Their former slogans were The One and Only (1979–1982), It’s a Sony (1982–2006), like.no.other (2006–2009)[18], make.believe (2009– 2013) and BE MOVED (2013–present).[19]

Sony has a weak tie to the Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group (SMFG) keiretsu, the successor to the Mitsui keiretsu.[20]


  • 1 History

    • 1.1 Tokyo Tsushin Kogyo
    • 1.2 Name
    • 1.3 Globalization
  • 2 Formats and technologies

    • 2.1 Video recording
    • 2.2 Audio recording
    • 2.3 Audio encoding
    • 2.4 Optical storage
    • 2.5 Disk storage
    • 2.6 Flash memory
  • 3 Business units

    • 3.1 Electronics

      • 3.1.1 Sony Corporation

        • Audio
        • Computing
        • Photography and videography
        • Video
        • Semiconductor and components
        • Medical-related business
      • 3.1.2 Sony Mobile Communications
      • 3.1.3 Sony Interactive Entertainment
    • 3.2 Electric vehicles and batteries
    • 3.3 Entertainment

      • 3.3.1 Sony Pictures Entertainment
      • 3.3.2 Sony Music Entertainment
      • 3.3.3 Sony/ATV Music Publishing
    • 3.4 Finance

      • 3.4.1 Financial services
      • 3.4.2 Mobile payments
  • 4 Corporate information

    • 4.1 Shareholders
    • 4.2 Finances
    • 4.3 Environmental record
    • 4.4 Community engagement

      • 4.4.1 EYE SEE project
      • 4.4.2 South Africa Mobile Library Project
      • 4.4.3 The Sony Canada Charitable Foundation
      • 4.4.4 Sony Foundation and You Can
      • 4.4.5 Open Planet Ideas Crowdsourcing Project
      • 4.4.6 Street Football Stadium Project
  • 5 See also
  • 6 References
  • 7 Further reading
  • 8 External links


Tokyo Tsushin Kogyo

Masaru Ibuka, the co-founder of Sony

Sony began in the wake of World War II. In 1946, Masaru Ibuka started an electronics shop in a department store building in Tokyo. The company started with a capital of ¥190,000[21] and a total of eight employees.[22] In May 1946, Ibuka was joined by Akio Morita to establish a company called Tokyo Tsushin Kogyo (東京通信工業, Tōkyō Tsūshin Kōgyō)[23][24] (Tokyo Telecommunications Engineering Corporation). The company built Japan’s first tape recorder, called the Type-G.[23] In 1958, the company changed its name to “Sony”.[25]


When Tokyo Tsushin Kogyo was looking for a romanized name to use to market themselves, they strongly considered using their initials, TTK. The primary reason they did not is that the railway company Tokyo Kyuko was known as TTK.[23] The company occasionally used the acronym “Totsuko” in Japan, but during his visit to the United States, Morita discovered that Americans had trouble pronouncing that name. Another early name that was tried out for a while was “Tokyo Teletech” until Akio Morita discovered that there was an American company already using Teletech as a brand name.[26]

The name “Sony” was chosen for the brand as a mix of two words: one was the Latin word “sonus“, which is the root of sonic and sound, and the other was “sonny“, a common slang term used in 1950s America to call a young boy.[11] In 1950s Japan, “sonny boys” was a loan word in Japanese, which connoted smart and presentable young men, which Sony founders Akio Morita and Masaru Ibuka considered themselves to be.[11]

The first Sony-branded product, the TR-55 transistor radio, appeared in 1955 but the company name did not change to Sony until January 1958.[27]

At the time of the change, it was extremely unusual for a Japanese company to use Roman letters to spell its name instead of writing it in kanji. The move was not without opposition: TTK’s principal bank at the time, Mitsui, had strong feelings about the name. They pushed for a name such as Sony Electronic Industries, or Sony Teletech. Akio Morita was firm, however, as he did not want the company name tied to any particular industry. Eventually, both Ibuka and Mitsui Bank’s chairman gave their approval.[23]


Sony TR-730 transistor radio made in Japan circa 1960

According to Schiffer, Sony’s TR-63 radio “cracked open the U.S. market and launched the new industry of consumer microelectronics.” By the mid-1950s, American teens had begun buying portable transistor radios in huge numbers, helping to propel the fledgling industry from an estimated 100,000 units in 1955 to 5 million units by the end of 1968.[citation needed]

Sony co-founder Akio Morita founded Sony Corporation of America in 1960.[22] In the process, he was struck by the mobility of employees between American companies, which was unheard of in Japan at that time.[22] When he returned to Japan, he encouraged experienced, middle-aged employees of other companies to reevaluate their careers and consider joining Sony.[22] The company filled many positions in this manner, and inspired other Japanese companies to do the same.[22] Moreover, Sony played a major role in the development of Japan as a powerful exporter during the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s.[28] It also helped to significantly improve American perceptions of “made in Japan” products.[29] Known for its production quality, Sony was able to charge above-market prices for its consumer electronics and resisted lowering prices.[29]

In 1971, Masaru Ibuka handed the position of president over to his co-founder Akio Morita. Sony began a life insurance company in 1979, one of its many peripheral businesses. Amid a global recession in the early 1980s, electronics sales dropped and the company was forced to cut prices.[29] Sony’s profits fell sharply. “It’s over for Sony,” one analyst concluded. “The company’s best days are behind it.”[29] Around that time, Norio Ohga took up the role of president. He encouraged the development of the Compact Disc in the 1970s and 1980s, and of the PlayStation in the early 1990s. Ohga went on to purchase CBS Records in 1988 and Columbia Pictures in 1989, greatly expanding Sony’s media presence. Ohga would succeed Morita as chief executive officer in 1989.[30][citation needed]
Under the vision of co-founder Akio Morita[31] and his successors, the company had aggressively expanded into new businesses.[28] Part of its motivation for doing so was the pursuit of “convergence,” linking film, music and digital electronics via the Internet.[28] This expansion proved unrewarding and unprofitable,[28] threatening Sony’s ability to charge a premium on its products[31] as well as its brand name.[31] In 2005, Howard Stringer replaced Nobuyuki Idei as chief executive officer, marking the first time that a foreigner had run a major Japanese electronics firm. Stringer helped to reinvigorate the company’s struggling media businesses, encouraging blockbusters such as Spider-Man while cutting 9,000 jobs.[28] He hoped to sell off peripheral business and focus the company again on electronics.[31] Furthermore, he aimed to increase cooperation between business units,[31] which he described as “silos” operating in isolation from one another.[32] In a bid to provide a unified brand for its global operations, Sony introduced a slogan known as “make.believe” in 2009.[30][citation needed]

Sony Store in Markville Shopping Centre in 2014

Despite some successes, the company faced continued struggles in the mid- to late-2000s.[28] In 2012, Kazuo Hirai was promoted to president and CEO, replacing Stringer. Shortly thereafter, Hirai outlined his company-wide initiative, named “One Sony” to revive Sony from years of financial losses and bureaucratic management structure, which proved difficult for former CEO Stringer to accomplish, partly due to differences in business culture and native languages between Stringer and some of Sony’s Japanese divisions and subsidiaries. Hirai outlined three major areas of focus for Sony’s electronics business, which include imaging technology, gaming and mobile technology, as well as a focus on reducing the major losses from the television business.[33]

In February 2014, Sony announced the sale of its Vaio PC division to a new corporation owned by investment fund Japan Industrial Partners and spinning its TV division into its own corporation as to make it more nimble to turn the unit around from past losses totaling $7.8 billion over a decade.[34] Later that month, they announced that they would be closing 20 stores.[35] In April, the company announced that they would be selling 9.5 million shares in Square Enix (roughly 8.2 percent of the game company’s total shares) in a deal worth approximately $48 million.[36] In May 2014 the company announced it was forming two joint ventures with Shanghai Oriental Pearl Group to manufacture and market Sony’s PlayStation games consoles and associated software in China.[37]

Formats and technologies

Sony has historically been notable for creating its own in-house standards for new recording and storage technologies, instead of adopting those of other manufacturers and standards bodies. Sony (either alone or with partners) has introduced several of the most popular recording formats, including the floppy disk, Compact Disc and Blu-ray Disc.

Video recording

A rare Japanese market Betamax TV/VCR combo, the Model SL-MV1.

The company launched the Betamax videocassette recording format in 1975. Sony became embroiled in the infamous videotape format war of the early 1980s, when Sony was marketing the Betamax system for video cassette recorders against the VHS format developed by JVC. In the end, VHS gained critical mass in the marketbase and became the worldwide standard for consumer VCRs.

While Betamax is for all practical purposes an obsolete format, a professional-oriented component video format called Betacam that was derived from Betamax is still used today, especially in the television industry, although far less so in recent years with the introduction of digital and high definition.

In 1985, Sony launched their Handycam products and the Video8 format. Video8 and the follow-on hi-band Hi8 format became popular in the consumer camcorder market. In 1987 Sony launched the 4 mm DAT or Digital Audio Tape as a new digital audio tape standard.

Audio recording

First Sony Walkman TPS-L2 from 1979.

In 1979, the Walkman brand was introduced, in the form of the world’s first portable music player using the compact cassette format. Sony introduced the MiniDisc format in 1992 as an alternative to Philips DCC or Digital Compact Cassette and as a successor to the compact cassette. Since the introduction of MiniDisc, Sony has attempted to promote its own audio compression technologies under the ATRAC brand, against the more widely used MP3. Until late 2004, Sony’s Network Walkman line of digital portable music players did not support the MP3 standard natively.

In 2004, Sony built upon the MiniDisc format by releasing Hi-MD. Hi-MD allows the playback and recording of audio on newly introduced 1 GB Hi-MD discs in addition to playback and recording on regular MiniDiscs. In addition to saving audio on the discs, Hi-MD allows the storage of computer files such as documents, videos and photos.

Audio encoding

In 1993, Sony challenged the industry standard Dolby Digital 5.1 surround sound format with a newer and more advanced[citation needed] proprietary motion picture digital audio format called SDDS (Sony Dynamic Digital Sound). This format employed eight channels (7.1) of audio opposed to just six used in Dolby Digital 5.1 at the time. Ultimately, SDDS has been vastly overshadowed by the preferred DTS (Digital Theatre System) and Dolby Digital standards in the motion picture industry. SDDS was solely developed for use in the theatre circuit; Sony never intended to develop a home theatre version of SDDS.[38][citation needed]

Sony and Philips jointly developed the Sony-Philips digital interface format (S/PDIF) and the high-fidelity audio system SACD. The latter has since been entrenched in a format war with DVD-Audio. At present, neither has gained a major foothold with the general public. CDs are preferred by consumers because of ubiquitous presence of CD drives in consumer devices.[citation needed]

Optical storage

Front side of a Sony 200GB Blu-ray disc.

In 1983, Sony followed their counterpart Philips to the compact disc (CD). In addition to developing consumer-based recording media, after the launch of the CD Sony began development of commercially based recording media. In 1986 they launched Write-Once optical discs (WO) and in 1988 launched Magneto-optical discs which were around 125MB size for the specific use of archival data storage.[39] In 1984, Sony launched the Discman series which extended their Walkman brand to portable CD products.

In the early 1990s, two high-density optical storage standards were being developed: one was the MultiMedia Compact Disc (MMCD), backed by Philips and Sony, and the other was the Super Density disc (SD), supported by Toshiba and many others. Philips and Sony abandoned their MMCD format and agreed upon Toshiba’s SD format with only one modification. The unified disc format was called DVD and was introduced in 1997.

Sony was one of the leading developers of the Blu-ray optical disc format, the newest standard for disc-based content delivery. The first Blu-ray players became commercially available in 2006. The format emerged as the standard for HD media over the competing format, Toshiba’s HD DVD, after a two-year-long high-definition optical disc format war.

Disk storage

In 1983, Sony introduced 90 mm micro diskettes (better known as 3.5-inch (89 mm) floppy disks), which it had developed at a time when there were 4″ floppy disks, and a lot of variations from different companies, to replace the then on-going 5.25″ floppy disks. Sony had great success and the format became dominant. 3.5″ floppy disks gradually became obsolete as they were replaced by current media formats.[40][38][citation needed]

Flash memory

Sony launched in 1998, their Memory Stick format, flash memory cards for use in Sony lines of digital cameras and portable music players. It has seen little support outside of Sony’s own products, with Secure Digital cards (SD) commanding considerably greater popularity. Sony has made updates to the Memory Stick format with Memory Stick Duo and Memory Stick Micro.

Business units

Sony offers products in a variety of product lines around the world.[41] Sony has developed a music playing robot called Rolly, dog-shaped robots called AIBO and a humanoid robot called QRIO.

As of 1 April 2016, Sony is organized into the following business segments: Mobile Communications (MC), Game & Network Services (G&NS), Imaging Products & Solutions (IP&S), Home Entertainment & Sound (HE&S), Semiconductors, Components, Pictures, Music, Financial Services and All Other.[42] The network and medical businesses are included in the G&NS and IP&S, respectively.[43]


Sony Corporation

Sony at Westfield Riccarton shopping centre in Christchurch, New Zealand

Sony Corporation is the electronics business unit and the parent company of the Sony Group. It primarily conducts strategic business planning of the group, research and development (R&D), planning, designing and marketing for electronics products. Its subsidiaries such as Sony Global Manufacturing & Operations Corporation (SGMO; 4 plants in Japan), Sony Semiconductor Manufacturing Corporation (7 plants in Japan), Sony Storage Media and Devices Corporation, Sony Energy Devices Corporation and its subsidiaries outside Japan (Brazil, China, UK (Wales), India, Malaysia, Singapore, South Korea, Thailand, Ireland and United States) are responsible for manufacturing as well as product engineering (SGMO[clarification needed] is also responsible for customer service operations). In 2012, Sony rolled most of its consumer content services (including video, music and gaming) into the Sony Entertainment Network.


Sony produced the world’s first portable music player, the Walkman in 1979. This line fostered a fundamental change in music listening habits by allowing people to carry music with them and listen to music through lightweight headphones. Walkman originally referred to portable audio cassette players. The company now uses the Walkman brand to market its portable audio and video players as well as a line of former Sony Ericsson mobile phones.

Sony utilized a related brand, Discman, to refer to its CD players. It dropped this name in the late 1990s.


Sony produced computers (MSX home computers and NEWS workstations) during the 1980s. The company withdrew from the computer business around 1990. Sony entered again into the global computer market under the new VAIO brand, began in 1996. Short for “Video Audio Integrated Operation”, the line was the first computer brand to highlight visual-audio features.[32]

Sony faced considerable controversy when some of its laptop batteries exploded and caught fire in 2006, resulting in the largest computer-related recall to that point in history.[44][45][46]

In a bid to join the tablet computer market, the company launched its Sony Tablet line of Android tablets in 2011. Since 2012, Sony’s Android products have been marketed under the Xperia brand used for its smartphones.[47]

On 4 February 2014, Sony announced that it would sell its VAIO PC business due to poor sales[48] and Japanese company Japan Industrial Partners (JIP) will purchase the VAIO brand, with the deal finalized by the end of March 2014.[49] Sony maintains a minority stake in the new, independent company.

Photography and videography

A Sony Cyber-shot digital cameras.

Sony offers a wide range of digital cameras. Point-and-shoot models adopt the Cyber-shot name, while digital single-lens reflex models are branded using Alpha.

The first Cyber-shot was introduced in 1996. At the time, digital cameras were a relative novelty. Sony’s market share of the digital camera market fell from a high of 20% to 9% by 2005.[32]

Sony entered the market for digital single-lens reflex cameras in 2006 when it acquired the camera business of Konica Minolta. Sony rebranded the company’s line of cameras as its Alpha line. Sony is the world’s third largest manufacturer of the cameras, behind Canon and Nikon respectively.

There are also a variety of Camcorders which are manufactured by Sony.


A Sony Bravia television.

In 1968, Sony introduced the Trinitron brand name for its lines of aperture grille cathode ray tube televisions and (later) computer monitors. Sony stopped production of Trinitron for most markets, but continued producing sets for markets such as Pakistan, Bangladesh and China. Sony discontinued its series of Trinitron computer monitors in 2005. The company discontinued the last Trinitron-based television set in the US in early 2007. The end of Trinitron marked the end of Sony’s analog television sets and monitors.

Sony used the LCD WEGA name for its LCD TVs until summer 2005. The company then introduced the BRAVIA name. BRAVIA is an in house brand owned by Sony which produces high-definition LCD televisions, projection TVs and front projectors, home cinemas and the BRAVIA home theatre range. All Sony high-definition flat-panel LCD televisions in North America have carried the logo for BRAVIA since 2005. Sony is the third-largest maker of televisions in the world.[50] As of 2012[update], Sony’s television business has been unprofitable for eight years.[50]

In December 2011, Sony agreed to sell all stake in an LCD joint venture with Samsung Electronics for about $940 million.[51] On 28 March 2012, Sony Corporation and Sharp Corporation announced that they have agreed to further amend the joint venture agreement originally executed by the parties in July 2009, as amended in April 2011, for the establishment and operation of Sharp Display Products Corporation (“SDP”), a joint venture to produce and sell large-sized LCD panels and modules.[52]

On 9 November 2015, Sony announced that they are going to stop producing Betamax Tapes in March 2016.[53]

Sony also sells a range of DVD players. It has shifted its focus in recent years to promoting the Blu-ray format, including discs and players.

Semiconductor and components

Sony produces a wide range of semiconductors and electronic components including image sensors (Exmor), image processor (BIONZ), laser diodes, system LSIs, mixed-signal LSIs, OLED panels, etc. The company has a strong presence in the image sensor market. Sony-manufactured CMOS image sensors are widely used in digital cameras, tablet computers and smartphones.

In April 2018, Sony announced to join the market for satellite communications and develop laser communication products for small satellites. Sony wants to use its heritage with optical disc technology used in products like CD players and plans to start initial tests in collaboration with JAXA in 2018.[54]

Medical-related business

Sony has targeted medical, healthcare and biotechnology business as a growth sector in the future. The company acquired iCyt Mission Technology, Inc. (renamed Sony Biotechnology Inc. in 2012), a manufacture of flow cytometers, in 2010 and Micronics, Inc., a developer of microfluidics-based diagnostic tools, in 2011.

In 2012, Sony announced that it will acquire all shares of So-net Entertainment Corporation, which is the majority shareholder of M3, Inc., an operator of portal sites (m3.com, MR-kun, MDLinx and MEDI:GATE) for healthcare professionals.

On 28 September 2012, Olympus and Sony announced that the two companies will establish a joint venture to develop new surgical endoscopes with 4K resolution (or higher) and 3D capability.[55] Sony Olympus Medical Solutions Inc. (Sony 51%, Olympus 49%) was established on 16 April 2013.[56]

On 28 February 2014, Sony, M3 and Illumina established a joint venture called P5, Inc. to provide a genome analysis service for research institutions and enterprises in Japan.[57]

Sony Mobile Communications

Xperia, the product device name for a range of smartphones from Sony.

Sony Mobile Communications Inc. (formerly Sony Ericsson) is a multinational mobile phone manufacturing company headquartered in Tokyo, Japan and a wholly owned subsidiary of Sony Corporation.

In 2001, Sony entered into a joint venture with Swedish telecommunications company Ericsson, forming Sony Ericsson.[58] Initial sales were rocky, and the company posted losses in 2001 and 2002. However, SMC reached a profit in 2003. Sony Ericsson distinguished itself with multimedia-capable mobile phones, which included features such as cameras. These were unusual for the time. Despite their innovations, SMC faced intense competition from Apple’s iPhone which released in 2007. From 2008 to 2010, amid a global recession, SMC slashed its workforce by several thousand. Sony acquired Ericsson’s share of the venture in 2012 for over US$1 billion.[58] In 2009, SMC was the fourth-largest mobile phone manufacturer in the world (after Nokia, Samsung and LG).[59] By 2010, its market share had fallen to sixth place.[60] Sony Mobile Communications now focuses exclusively on the smartphone market under the Xperia name. In 2015, Sony released Xperia Z5 Premium in Canada following US and Europe.[61]

In the year 2013, Sony contributed to around two percent of the mobile phone market with 37 million mobile phones sold.[62]

Sony Interactive Entertainment

Sony Interactive Entertainment headquarters in San Mateo, California.

Sony Interactive Entertainment (formerly Sony Computer Entertainment) is best known for producing the popular line of PlayStation consoles. The line grew out of a failed partnership with Nintendo. Originally, Nintendo requested Sony to develop an add-on for its console that would play Compact Discs. In 1991 Sony announced the add-on, as well as a dedicated console known as the “Play Station”. However, a disagreement over software licensing for the console caused the partnership to fall through. Sony then continued the project independently.

Launched in 1994, the first PlayStation gained 61% of global console sales and broke Nintendo’s long-standing lead in the market.[63] Sony followed up with the PlayStation 2 in 2000, which was even more successful. The console has become the most successful of all time, selling over 150 million units as of 2011[update]. Sony released the PlayStation 3, a high-definition console, in 2006. It was the first console to use the Blu-ray format, and was considerably more expensive than competitors Xbox 360 and Wii due to a Cell processor.[32] Early on, poor sales performance resulted in significant losses for the company, pushing it to sell the console at a loss.[64] The PlayStation 3 sold generally more poorly than its competitors in the early years of its release but managed to overtake the Xbox 360 in global sales later on.[65] It later introduced the PlayStation Move, an accessory that allows players to control video games using motion gestures.

The PlayStation 2 is the best-selling video game console of all time.

Sony extended the brand to the portable games market in 2004 with the PlayStation Portable (PSP). The console has sold reasonably, but has taken a second place to a rival handheld, the Nintendo DS. Sony developed the Universal Media Disc (UMD) optical disc medium for use on the PlayStation Portable. Early on, the format was used for movies, but it has since lost major studio support. Sony released a disc-less version of its PlayStation Portable, the PSP Go, in 2009. The company went on to release its second portable video game system, PlayStation Vita, in 2011 and 2012. Sony launched its fourth console, the PlayStation 4, on 15 November 2013, which as of 31 December 2017 has sold 73.6 million units globally.[66]

On 18 March 2014, at GDC, president of Sony Computer Entertainment Worldwide Studios Shuhei Yoshida announced their new virtual reality technology dubbed Project Morpheus, and later named PlayStation VR, for PlayStation 4. The headset brought VR gaming and non-gaming software to the company’s console. According to a report released by Houston-based patent consulting firm LexInnova in May 2015, Sony is leading the virtual reality patent race. According to the firm’s analysis of nearly 12,000 patents or patent applications, Sony has 366 virtual reality patents or patent applications.[67] PlayStation VR was released worldwide on 13 October 2016.[68]

Electric vehicles and batteries

In 2014, Sony participated within NRG Energy eVgo Ready for Electric Vehicle (REV) program, for EV charging parking lots.[69]

Sony is in the business of electric vehicle lithium-ion batteries.[70][71][72]

IT giants such as Google (driverless car) and Apple (iCar/Project Titan) are working on electric vehicles and self driving cars, competing with Tesla; Sony is entering into this field by investing $842,000 in the ZMP company.[73][74]

On 28 July 2016, Sony announced that the company will sell its battery business to Murata Manufacturing.[75]


Sony Entertainment has three divisions: Sony Pictures Entertainment, Sony Music Entertainment, and Sony/ATV Music Publishing.

Sony USA also previously owned and operated Sony Trans Com: a technology business that provided in-flight entertainment programming as well as video and audio playback equipment for the airline industry. Sony had purchased the business from Sundstrand Corp. in 1989 and subsequently sold it to Rockwell Collins in 2000.[76][77]

Sony Pictures Entertainment

Sony Pictures Plaza, next to the main studio lot of Sony Pictures in Culver City

Sony Pictures Entertainment Inc. (SPE) is the television and film production/distribution unit of Sony. With 12.5% box office market share in 2011, the company was ranked third among movie studios.[78] Its group sales in 2010 were $7.2 billion USD.[14][79] The company has produced many notable movie franchises, including Spider-Man, The Karate Kid and Men in Black. It has also produced the popular television game shows Jeopardy! and Wheel of Fortune.

Sony entered the television and film production market when it acquired Columbia Pictures Entertainment in 1989 for $3.4 billion. Columbia lives on in the Sony Pictures Motion Picture Group, a division of SPE which in turn owns Columbia Pictures and TriStar Pictures among other film production and distribution companies such as Screen Gems, Sony Pictures Classics, Sony Pictures Home Entertainment. SPE’s television division is known as Sony Pictures Television.

For the first several years of its existence, Sony Pictures Entertainment performed poorly, leading many to suspect the company would sell off the division.[80] Sony Pictures Entertainment encountered controversy in the early 2000s. In July 2000, a marketing executive working for Sony Corporation created a fictitious film critic, David Manning, who gave consistently good reviews for releases from Sony subsidiary Columbia Pictures that generally received poor reviews amongst real critics.[81] Sony later pulled the ads, suspended Manning’s creator and his supervisor and paid fines to the state of Connecticut[82] and to fans who saw the reviewed films in the US.[83] In 2006 Sony started using ARccOS Protection on some of their film DVDs, but later issued a recall.[84]

In late 2014, Sony Pictures became the target of a hack attack from a clandestine group called Guardians of Peace, weeks before releasing the anti-North Korean comedy film The Interview.[85]

Sony Music Entertainment

Sony Music Entertainment (also known as SME or Sony Music) is the second-largest global recorded music company of the “big three” record companies and is controlled by Sony Corporation of America, the United States subsidiary of Japan’s Sony.

In one of its largest-ever acquisitions, Sony purchased CBS Record Group in 1988 for US$2 billion.[86] In the process, Sony partnered and gained the rights to the ATV catalogue of Michael Jackson, considered by the Guinness Book of World Records to be the most successful entertainer of all time. The acquisition of CBS Records provided the foundation for the formation of Sony Music Entertainment, which Sony established in 1991.

In 2004, Sony entered into a joint venture with Bertelsmann AG, merging Sony Music Entertainment with Bertelsmann Music Group to create Sony BMG. In 2005, Sony BMG faced a copy protection scandal, because its music CDs had installed malware on users’ computers that was posing a security risk to affected customers.[87] In 2007, the company acquired Famous Music for US$370 million, gaining the rights to the catalogues of Eminem and Akon, among others.

Sony bought out Bertelsmann’s share in the company and formed a new Sony Music Entertainment in 2008. Since then, the company has undergone management changes. In January 1988, Sony acquired CBS Records and the 50% of CBS/Sony Group. In March 1988, four wholly owned subsidiaries were folded into CBS/Sony Group and the company was renamed as Sony Music Entertainment Japan

Sony purchased digital music recognition company Gracenote for $260 million USD in 2008.[88]Tribune Media Company acquired Gracenote from Sony in 2014 for $170 million.[89]

Sony/ATV Music Publishing

Besides its record label, Sony operates other music businesses. In 1995, Sony merged its publisher with Michael Jackson’s ATV Music Publishing, forming Sony/ATV Music Publishing. At the time, the publishing company was the second largest of its kind in the world. The company owns the publishing rights to over 4 million compositions, including The Beatles’ Lennon-McCartney catalogue, Bob Dylan, Eminem, Lady Gaga, Sam Smith, Ed Sheeran, and Taylor Swift.

In 2012, Sony/ATV then acquired a majority stake in EMI Music Publishing, making them the world’s largest music publishing company.[90] As of 2016, Sony owns all of Sony/ATV.[91]


Financial services

Sony Financial Holdings is a holding company for Sony’s financial services business. It owns and oversees the operation of Sony Life (in Japan and the Philippines), Sony Assurance, Sony Bank and Sony Bank Securities. The company is headquartered in Tokyo, Japan. Sony Financial accounts for half of Sony’s global earnings.[92] The unit proved the most profitable of Sony’s businesses in fiscal year 2006, earning $1.7 billion in profit.[31] Sony Financial’s low fees have aided the unit’s popularity while threatening Sony’s premium brand name.[31]

Mobile payments

Sony wants to contend with Apple and Samsung on mobile payments in Asia. Sony plans to use its contact-less payment technology to make ground in the public transportation industry across Asia. The system, known as FeliCa, relies on two forms of technologies to make it viable, either chips embedded in smartphones or plastic cards with chips embedded in them. Sony plans to implement this technology in train systems in Indonesia as early as Spring 2016.[93]

Corporate information


Sony is a kabushiki gaisha registered to the Tokyo Stock Exchange in Japan and the New York Stock Exchange for overseas trading. As of 30 September 2017, there are 484,812 shareholders and 1,264,649,260 shares issued.[94] Most of these shares are held by foreign institutions and investors.

  • 10.7% (136,130,000): Japan Trustee Services Bank, Ltd. Japan (trust account)
  • 8.7% (109,396,000): Citigroup Inc. United States
  • 6.1% (77,467,000): JPMorgan Chase & Co. United States
  • 5.6% (71,767,000): State Street Corporation United States
  • 5.6% (70,720,000): The Master Trust Bank of Japan, Ltd. Japan (trust account)


Sony is one of Japan’s largest corporations by revenue. It had revenues of ¥6.493 trillion in 2012. It also maintains large reserves of cash, with ¥895 billion on hand as of 2012. In May 2012, Sony shares were valued at about $15 billion.[95]

The company was immensely profitable throughout the 1990s and early 2000s, in part because of the success of its new PlayStation line. The company encountered financial difficulty in the mid- to late-2000s due to a number of factors: the global financial crisis, increased competition for PlayStation, and the devastating Japanese earthquake of 2011. The company faced three consecutive years of losses leading up to 2011.[96] While noting the negative effects of intervening circumstances such as natural disasters and fluctuating currency exchange rates,[96] the Financial Times criticized the company for its “lack of resilience” and “inability to gauge the economy.”[96] The newspaper voiced skepticism about Sony’s revitalization efforts, given a lack of tangible results.[96]

In September 2000 Sony had a market capitalization of $100 billion; but by December 2011 it had plunged to $18 billion, reflecting falling prospects for Sony but also reflecting grossly inflated share prices of the ‘dot.com’ years.[97] Net worth, as measured by stockholder equity, has steadily grown from $17.9 billion in March 2002 to $35.6 billion through December 2011.[98] Earnings yield (inverse of the price to earnings ratio) has never been more than 5% and usually much less; thus Sony has always traded in over-priced ranges with the exception of the 2009 market bottom.

On 9 December 2008, Sony Corporation announced that it would be cutting 8,000 jobs, dropping 8,000 contractors and reducing its global manufacturing sites by 10% to save $1.1 billion per year.[99]

In April 2012, Sony announced that it would reduce its workforce by 10,000 (6% of its employee base) as part of CEO Hirai’s effort to get the company back into the black. This came after a loss of 520 billion yen (roughly US$6.36 billion) for fiscal 2012, the worst since the company was founded. Accumulation loss for the past four years was 919.32 billion-yen.[100][101] Sony planned to increase its marketing expenses by 30% in 2012.[102] 1,000 of the jobs cut come from the company’s mobile phone unit’s workforce. 700 jobs will be cut in the 2012–2013 fiscal year and the remaining 300 in the following fiscal year.[103]

Sony’s 2009 sales and distribution by geographical region[104]
Geographic region Total sales (yen in millions)
Japan 1,873,219
United States 2,512,345
Europe 2,307,658
Other areas 2,041,270

In January 2013, Sony announced it was selling its US headquarters building for $1.1 billion to a consortium led by real estate developer The Chetrit Group.[105]

On 28 January 2014, Moody’s Investors Services dropped Sony’s credit rating to Ba1—”judged to have speculative elements and a significant credit risk”—saying that the company’s “profitability is likely to remain weak and volatile.”[106]

On 6 February 2014, Sony announced it would trim as many as 5,000 jobs as it attempts to sell its PC business and focus on mobile and tablets.[107]

In 2014,[108] Sony South Africa closed its TV, Hi-Fi and camera divisions[109] with the purpose of reconsidering its local distribution model and, in 2017, it returned[110][111] facilitated by Premium Brand Distributors (Pty) Ltd.

Environmental record

In November 2011, Sony was ranked 9th (jointly with Panasonic) in Greenpeace’s Guide to Greener Electronics.[112] This chart grades major electronics companies on their environmental work. The company scored 3.6/10, incurring a penalty point for comments it has made in opposition to energy efficiency standards in California. It also risks a further penalty point in future editions for being a member of trade associations that have commented against energy efficiency standards.[113] Together with Philips, Sony receives the highest score for energy policy advocacy after calling on the EU to adopt an unconditional 30% reduction target for greenhouse gas emissions by 2020. Meanwhile, it receives full marks for the efficiency of its products.[113] In June 2007, Sony ranked 14th on the Greenpeace guide.[114] Sony fell from its earlier 11th-place ranking due to Greenpeace’s claims that Sony had double standards in their waste policies.[115]

As of May 2018[update] Greenpeace’s 2017 Guide to Greener Electronics rated Sony approximately in the middle among electronics manufacturers with a grade of D+.[116]

Since 1976, Sony has had an Environmental Conference.[117] Sony’s policies address their effects on global warming, the environment, and resources. They are taking steps to reduce the amount of greenhouse gases that they put out as well as regulating the products they get from their suppliers in a process that they call “green procurement”.[118] Sony has said that they have signed on to have about 75 percent of their Sony Building running on geothermal power. The “Sony Take Back Recycling Program” allow consumers to recycle the electronics products that they buy from Sony by taking them to eCycle (Recycling) drop-off points around the U.S. The company has also developed a biobattery that runs on sugars and carbohydrates that works similarly to the way living creatures work. This is the most powerful small biobattery to date.[119]

In 2000, Sony faced criticism for a document entitled “NGO Strategy” that was leaked to the press. The document involved the company’s surveillance of environmental activists in an attempt to plan how to counter their movements. It specifically mentioned environmental groups that were trying to pass laws that held electronics-producing companies responsible for the cleanup of the toxic chemicals contained in their merchandise.[120]

Community engagement

EYE SEE project

Sony Corporation is actively involved in the EYE SEE project conducted by UNICEF. EYE SEE digital photography workshops have been run for children in Argentina, Tunisia, Mali, South Africa, Ethiopia, Madagascar, Rwanda, Liberia and Pakistan.[121][122]

South Africa Mobile Library Project

Sony assists The South Africa Primary Education Support Initiative (SAPESI) through financial donations and children book donations to the South Africa Mobile Library Project.[123]

The Sony Canada Charitable Foundation

The Sony Canada Charitable Foundation (SCCF) is a non-profit organization which supports three key charities; the Make-A-Wish Canada, the United Way of Canada and the EarthDay and ECOKIDS program.

Sony Foundation and You Can

After the 2011 Queensland floods and Victorian bushfires, Sony Music released benefit albums with money raised going to the Sony Foundation.[124] You Can is the youth cancer program of Sony Foundation.[125]

Open Planet Ideas Crowdsourcing Project

Sony launched its Open Planet Ideas Crowdsourcing Project, in partnership with the World Wildlife Fund and the design group, IDEO.[126]

Street Football Stadium Project

On the occasion of the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, Sony partnered with streetfootballworld and launched the Street Football Stadium Project to support football-based educational programmes in local communities across Latin America and Brazil.[127] More than 25 Street Stadiums were developed since the project’s inception.[128]

See also

  • List of companies of Japan
  • List of Sony subsidiaries


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Further reading

  • Made in Japan by Akio Morita and Sony, HarperCollins (1994)[ISBN missing]
  • Sony: The Private Life by John Nathan, Houghton Mifflin (1999)[ISBN missing]
  • Sony Radio, Sony Transistor Radio 35th Anniversary 1955–1990 – information booklet (1990)[ISBN missing]
  • The Portable Radio in American Life by University of Arizona Professor Michael Brian Schiffer, PhD (The University of Arizona Press, 1991).
  • The Japan Project: Made in Japan – a documentary about Sony’s early history in the U.S. by Terry Sanders.[ISBN missing]

External links

  • Official website