Tarnished Toshiba Brand Name Replaced
This week a new notebook hit the market called Dynabook, three years ago this notebook would have been branded Toshiba.
Dynabook is a respected name developed by Sharp a Japanese Company who acquired an 80.1% stake in the former Toshiba owned Company Toshiba Client Services.
Unlike the Toshiba name, the Sharp brand is trusted in Australia and around the world with the Japanese Company that is now owned by Foxconn the biggest technology Company in the world, still heavily involved in the quality of their products sold to consumers.
The name change came about because the name Toshiba which is still appearing on TV’s and next year appliances in Australia, is tarnished and linked with scandal and corruption following years of financial mismanagement by Japanese directors and managers.
So desperate were Toshiba to cut billions in losses that they flogged off their brand name to a variety of Companies around the world, some like Hisense who are set to sell Toshiba TV’s to Harvey Norman next year still believe that there is value in the name.
Recently local distributor Ayonz announced that they plan to sell Toshiba Appliances in Australia next year, these appliances will be made by Chinese Company Midea Group with Toshiba not being involved in the manufacture of the Toshiba branded appliances.
The name Toshiba was in the past associated with premium notebooks that was until the Company imploded due to corruption allegations that saw directors arrested.
In Australia the Company had to fork out millions after a nasty Federal Court case with Melbourne based Castel who at the time was selling Toshiba AV products, Castel accused Toshiba of supplying defective goods.
Local Toshiba management then decided that they wanted to have a go at selling Toshiba branded AV products including TV’s and products and took the distribution away from Castel, they failed because of poor marketing and a failure to deliver premium TV’s.
Castel responded claiming more than $30 million dollars in damages, for what they allege were defective Toshiba video recorders and TVs.
Castel won the case and Toshiba were forced to settle.
In Japan Government investigators found direct evidence of inappropriate accounting practices and overstated profits in multiple Toshiba business units, including the visual products unit that made TV’s, the PC unit and the semiconductor unit.
When things started to go pear shaped for Toshiba back in 2008 directors decided to “cook the books” as one analyst said.
The accounting misconduct began under CEO Atsutoshi Nishida in 2008 amid the then global financial crisis that was cutting deeply into Toshiba’s profitability.
It continued unabated under the next CEO, Norio Sasaki, and eventually ended with Police raids on the Companies Japanese headquarters.
The inappropriate accounting techniques employed at Toshiba varied, investigators found evidence of booking future profits early, pushing back losses, pushing back charges and other similar techniques that resulted in overstated profits.
In a bid to tackle all the financial issues caused by the scandal, the company had to sell off its NAND flash chip business to a consortium of investors in September 2017, then it sold its television business to Hisense in November 2017.
In April 2018, they sold an 80.1% stake in its PC unit (called Toshiba Client Solutions) to Sharp.
Under the terms of the agreement, Sharp got products, brands, technologies, staff, sales channels, and other assets related to the PCs, mobile devices for professional use, and drive recorders.
The main idea behind the acquisition was to combine technologies developed by Sharp (displays, sensors, etc.) and TCS in a bid to build market-leading PCs as well as other devices.
Sharp were not interested in the tarnished Toshiba brand name, which is why Sharp had to rebrand the company once called Toshiba Client Solutions to Dynabook on January 1, 2019, then do the same with its subsidiaries.
From now on, all notebooks and other PC-related devices sold around the world will carry the Dynabook trademark.
All the products from Dynabook will continue to use such popular sub-brands as Portégé, Tecra, and DynaEdge.
Furthermore, the company will also offer additional IoT products as well as AR smart glasses which will be developed using the skills of Sharp and Foxconn management.
Among the first products that incorporate technologies developed by TCS and Sharp are Dynabook’s G-series laptops that combine a sub-kilogram weight with a 19-hour battery life. Going forward, Dynabook plans to expand its own-brand portfolio of products and introduce them sometimes in the second quarter in the US. The company’s current product list includes 10 notebooks, three miniature PCs, AR Glasses, and various laptop accessories.