Skip to main content

The Incredible Collapse Of Toshiba - Extinction Beckons For Former Colossus

There was a time, not too long ago, when Toshiba stood over the world of portable computing like a Colossus. Its portable computers were the standards by which others were judged. No self-respecting senior executive was seen carrying anything but a Port├ęge. The thinner, the lighter, the more expensive, the better.

Consumer electronics, components, medical equipment, the same was true.

So how do we come to a point, not thirty years later, when Toshiba is filing unaudited financial reports, facing delisting from the stock markets and telling investors that it may no longer have a viable business?

Briefly, two major scandals in less than three years. The first an accounting scandal, the second involving the Westinghouse Nuclear unit it purchased from BNFL in 2006. The liabilities arising could be terminal for the parent company.

At the moment the best chance for survival for Toshiba is to sell its semi conductor division, which accounts for more than half of its income.

That in itself represents a problem. Foxconn is likely to be the highest bidder, however the Japanese Government is desperate to avoid foreign ownership of the world's second biggest semiconductor manufacturer, especially by the Chinese.

Foxconn's rumoured $27bn bid looks impossible for a Japanese company, or even consortium, to match, so in order to survive ownership may have to pass outside of Japan.

Even then, there appears to be no guarantee this will be enough to save Toshiba. 

For anyone who remembers the strength of Toshiba in the 80s and 90s it's almost possible to conceive, but it really may not be around much longer.


Popular posts from this blog

F1: Robert Kubica Impresses In Renault Test Run

The car may be old but its the performance of the driver that's the story here. Robert Kubica returned to F1, after a fashion, earlier this week with an extensive test run in a 2012 Lotus Renault F1 car at Valencia.
The age of the car and the circuit were likely determined by F1's current rules which ban testing, but the reason for Kubica being in the car is far more interesting. Considered by many to be a potential World Champion and certainly one of the fastest drivers of his generation, Kubica's F1 career seemed to be over after a 2011 crash whilst driving in the Rally of Andora. His Skoda Fabia was penetrated by a guardrail in the high speed accident partially severing his right arm.
Up until last year Kubica has been competing in rallying, with the expectation that the limited movement in his repaired arm would prohibit a return to single seater racing.
So this week's test is both interesting and confusing. Interesting because Kubica completed 115 laps of the ret…

Panos Panay's Defence Of Microsoft Surface Hardware Sounds Eerily Familiar

This weekend I went out with my ten year old daughter to select a laptop for her school year beginning in January. The schools requirements are quite specific, requiring a Windows 10 device, with a preference for a touchscreen and a stylus. She chose a Surface Pro, after trying a large number of different options. Having seen the way I use my own Surface Pro - and tried it herself there was only ever going to be two options - and the other was a Surface Laptop.
I tell you this so that you understand I am a buyer of Microsoft's products through choice, not compulsion. I'm on my third Surface device now. 
So when Panos Panay dismissed reports of the death of the Surface hardware line, I was very interested to see exactly how strong these denials were. Especially how they reflect what has gone before. To whit: Windows 10 Mobile.
Panay claimed that Microsoft is in hardware for the long haul. Almost exactly mirroring the words of Terry Myerson, when he claimed Windows Mobile was g…

WhartonBrooks Indiegogo Windows 10 Mobile Even More Doomed To Failure Than Usual

WhartonBrooks is currently crowd-funding its latest Windows Mobile smartphone on Indiegogo. If crowdfunding isn't already a bad enough idea, a company trying to crowdfund a Windows Mobile device should be warning enough for you.
Not that anyone seems to be taking the project too seriously. With a few weeks left to run the campaign has managed to ensnare just 2% of its $1.1m target.
If you want a better indication of how few Window Mobile loyalists remain I doubt there is one. Of 3,900 Windows Phone enthusiasts Wharton Brooks was seeking for its new phone, it has managed to entice just 50.
Windows for Phones is dead, even if the corpse hasn't stopped twitching yet.