#electronics

Glenn Rifkin:

A perfectionist and a devotee of classical music, Dr. Bose was disappointed by the inferior sound of a high-priced stereo system he purchased when he was an M.I.T. engineering student in the 1950s. His interest in acoustic engineering piqued, he realized that 80 percent of the sound experienced in a concert hall was indirect, meaning that it bounced off walls and ceilings before reaching the audience.

Pretty amazing inventor/entrepreneur that was never talked about enough — perhaps because he remained in tight control of his company and never went public. Which allowed him to do this for M.I.T.:

He taught there for more than 45 years, and in 2011, donated a majority of his company’s shares to the school. The gift provides M.I.T. with annual cash dividends. M.I.T. cannot sell the shares and does not participate in the company’s management.

Quite literally the gift that will keep on giving.

The news will probably send the stock plummeting another 20%.

But really, some interesting NPD data here reported by Neil Hughes for AppleInsider:

Apple’s revenue easily beat out rival Samsung, which came in second with 9.3 percent, up from 7 percent in 2011. The rest of the top five saw their share of revenue fall in 2012: HP dipped from 8.9 percent in 2011 to 8.2 percent last year, while Sony and Dell both slid to 4.4 percent and 3 percent, respectively.

Two are horsemen, the rest are has-beens.

And:

Together, Apple and Samsung accounted for $6.5 billion in increased sales in 2012. Meanwhile, the rest of the consumer technology industry saw sales decline by almost $9.5 billion in the U.S.

See: above.

And:

The top five categories for consumer electronics in the U.S. were notebooks, flat-panel TVs, smartphones, tablets, and desktop computers. Together, they accounted for 53 percent of sales in 2012, up from 49 percent in 2011.

One of these categories is not like the others…

But:

The only two categories in the top five to see year-over-year growth were tablets and smartphones, markets where Apple competes with the iPad and iPhone.

Perhaps until Apple enters the one market above that they’re not in yet…

Chico Harlan, reporting for The Washington Post:

The pace of problems is accelerating. Sony hasn’t made a profit in four years. Panasonic has lost money in three of the past four. Along with Sharp, the companies’ combined market value, according to Bloomberg, is $32 billion — making them one-fifth the value of Samsung and one-twentieth the value of Apple.

The smartphone angle here is obvious. So is the pricing squeeze angle. Not-so-obvious: the complete and utter failure of each of these companies to understand the importance of software tying in with hardware.