SoftBank's launch of Android-based Pepper service robots will encourage Android software developers to develop applications for Pepper, which in return will help ramp up Pepper's market size and its ecosystem, according to a Digitimes Research report on the latest market trends in Japan's digital home market for the second quarter of 2016.
Meanwhile, Panasonic's announcement to close its LCD panel plant in Himeji, Japan will also have a significant impact on Japan's digital home market, said Digitimes Research. Panasonic will outsource flat panels used for its LCD TV production after the closure of Himeji plant, while focusing on development of high-end TV models,
Panasonic aims to sustain its profit growth through the outsourcing policy and the focus on high-end models after it managed to generate operating profits in its LCD TV business for the first time in eight years in fiscal 2015 (April 2015-March 2016).
For the upcoming Tokyo Olympic Games 2020, Panasonic will focus on marketing large-size, high-definition models, including CZ950-series OLED 4K TVs for markets in Europe and DX900/850 series 4K Ultra HD Premium TVs for the local market.
Sony, which has exited from the robot market for 10 years, is expected to reenter following its announced equity investment in US-based startup, Cogitai. Sony is expected to launch new business models by integrating AI technologies and its hardware products and services, Digitimes Research asserted.
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