[WORLDKINGS] Top 100 companies over 100-years and still in business – P87 – Sharp Corporation (Japan): The 108-year branding journey of Sharp Corporation (1912)


(WorldKings.org) Sharp Corporation develops, produces, and markets advanced consumer electronics, business products, and electronic components. Although 65 percent of its sales are generated in Japan, Sharp has subsidiaries around the world.

The company was founded as a small metal works in Osaka in 1912 by an inventor and tinkerer named Tokuji Hayakawa. After three years in business, earning a modest income from gadgets and repair jobs, Hayakawa engineered a mechanical pencil he called the 'Ever-Sharp.' Demand for this simple and durable instrument was immense. To facilitate greater production, Hayakawa first adopted an assembly line and later moved to a larger factory.




After the pencil business was destroyed by the 1923 Great Kantō earthquake, the company relocated to Osaka and began designing the first generation of Japanese radio sets. These went on sale in 1925. The company was established as "Hayakawa Metal Works" in 1924, in Tanabe-cho, Osaka. In 1942, the name was changed to "Hayakawa Electric Industry Company".

The radio entered mass production shortly afterward, and sold so well that facilities had to be expanded. Crystal radios, however, are passive receivers whose range is limited. Hayakawa felt that powered radios, capable of amplifying signals, should be the subject of further development. When the company introduced a commercial model, the Sharp Dyne, in 1929, Sharp was firmly established as Japan's leading radio manufacturer. The company expanded greatly in the following years, necessitating its reorganization into a corporation in 1935.



The company started development of a color television in the mid-1950s. In 1960, with the advent of color broadcasting in Japan, Hayakawa introduced a line of color sets. This was followed in 1962 by a commercial microwave oven, and in 1964 by a desktop calculator. The Compet calculator was the first in the world to use transistors. In 1966 the microwave oven received a rotating plate and calculators shrank with the use of integrated circuits.



Hayakawa recognized the great sales potential of the United States; a sales subsidiary was established there in 1962. It served the dual purpose of facilitating sales and observing the market. By the late 1960s, the Sharp brand name had become well-established in North America. Sales in the United States provided the company with a large and increasing portion of its income. In addition, subsidiaries were established in West Germany in 1968 and Britain in 1969.

Sharp's Mobile Communications Division created the world's first commercial camera phone, the J-SH04, in Japan in 2000.



Since 2000, Sharp heavily invested in LCD panel manufacturing plants: Kameyama in 2004, Sakai in 2009. The Sakai plant is still the only 10th generation LCD manufacturing plant on the globe and its best fit for production of 60-inch or larger panels.

In June 2005 Sharp produced the largest LCD television at the time, with a display of 65 inches. It went on sale in August 2005 in Japan. From 2005 to 2010 Sharp was the biggest mobile phone brand in Japan. Since then it has been constantly switching places through financial quarters against rivals Fujitsu, Apple and Sony.



Since 2016 it has been majority owned by the Taiwan-based Foxconn Group, is a Taiwanese multinational electronics contract manufacturer with its headquarters in Tucheng, New Taipei City, Taiwan. Today, Sharp employs more than 50,000 people worldwide.

According to en.wikipedia and referenceforbusiness.com

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