This week China’s probably pretty pissed that India’s going to add Japanese bullet-train tech to cart, which is ironic since Chinese bullet train tech IS Japanese (ZING!), it’s extra confirmed that Apple’s going to finance Japan Display’s new factory, and lastly, you may insert a lame pun here about how consistently under-performing & money-losing Sharp is anything but. Read me!
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:: JTFF – March 6, 2015 ::
• More Confirmed Again: Orphan Wonder-Triplet Japan Display Definitely Building New Factory with Apple Cash
As we JTFF’d two weeks back, Japan Display, the bastardly child of Sony’s, Toshiba’s, and Hitachi’s once rotting-on-the-vine display divisions, was looking virtually confirmed to be getting a huge partnership and investment deal to make screens for Apple’s personal telecommunications devices. Well, Apple ain’t said a word, but some loose-lipped lackey at Japan Display has literally confirmed that Apple’s writing a check. For Apple, it’s gotta be nice to be so filthy rich that you can build a factory for another company to make parts for your products and then buy the products from the factory you paid for, namsayen? Samsung ain’t got that kinda juice, son! Anywell, baby’s got a new pair of Apple-financed hottpants, and it’s pretty great news for the young but old Japan Display…but not so great news for another hulking, monolithic Japanese tech firm…
[JAPAN DISPLAY CONFIRMS APPLE INVESTMENT – REUTERS CANADA]
• Meanwhile, the Company that Didn’t have its Display Division Amputated and Reanimated is Trolling for Help
As with every Japan Display-like successful silver lining, there’s a shit sandwich in the metaphor’s middle, and that bullet biter is Japan’s Sharp. Due to dropping sales in China, due to the aforementioned Japan Display’s success (excuses are for babies!), and probably mostly due to the fact that it’s been a good long time since Sharp’s excreted anything even marginally innovative or inspiring, the 102-year-old J-tech firm is failing at the part of business where profits are supposed to happen. Having already been semi-bailed out and reshuffled in 2012, it’s not a good sign that Sharp is now looking to creditors and maybe even a corporate turnaround fund to pump in some cash and get themselves back on track…again. On one hand, one can kinda understand that Apple pouring money all over Japan Display is a bit unfair for Sharp’s limping display unit. But on the other hand, if Sharp had properly capitalismed and made a better product in the first place, Apple would probably be buying their gear – so Sharp, take a knee: First Things First, make better stuff, duh; Second Things Second, maybe like, ohh…ring up Samsung and see if maybe they do got some cash lying around!
[SHARP BE NEEDIN’ CASH Y’ALL – REUTERS REGULAR FLAVOR]
Entirely Not Related: The Recurring Parable of the AWOL Android
• Sorry China, India’s Probably Going to Add Japanese High-Speed Rail Tech to Cart
Now, this piece is slightly older and several hours outside the normal time frame for the JTFF, but Anthrobotic’s hard-on for train stuff overrules that rule because zoom and fast and wheeeeee and awesome. Japan’s global high-speed rail tech proselytizing is a favorite topic around here, and the JTFF first commented on the Japano-Indo negotiations last September in the AkihabaraNews version (pre-repatriation) of the column. At the time, India was moderately leaning toward the the J-option, but the Chinese were also campaigning hard for their version…which is basically reverse-engineered Japanese high-speed rail tech (shameless goddamn Chinese KIRFers!). But, 6 months time and the pending release of a comprehensive feasibility and logistics study, along with Japan’s incredible safety record and engineering prowess, are making it look a lot like India’s going with the J-tech. If approved and funded and all that, a Japan Railways-led consortium could begin construction as early as 2017. Indians, you will love it. It’s amazing. As an aside, when it comes to liberally copying/imitating/stealing the work of others, China’s kinda like like the Asian Russia, right? (Yes, most of Russia is kind of in Asia, but just play along so it doesn’t have to be all “Wow, Russians are the KIRFiest white people on the planet!” because that would be offensiver.) But okay, to be fair, we can forgive China a little bit – just think about it: would you do any different if you had 1.whatever billion humans to feed and a relatively monumental dearth of intellectual capital? Hell no, and the JTFF would be copying and selling the shit outta shit, but still…it would be nice to see some uniquely Chinese tech come to the fore, because if the Chinese continue to economically lean on manufacturing the ingenuity of the rest of the world, to the detriment of their own, it will come back around and spank them.
[INDIA WANTS J-TRAINS – NIKKEI ASIAN REVIEW]
Madd Relevant: Happy 50th, Shinkansen (VIDEO & GALLERY)