nihongo|Aiwa|アイワ| was a Japanese consumer electronics company, founded in 1951. It experienced considerable success in the 1970s and 1980s producing audio and video equipment that was sold around the world.Aiwa had a number of electronics 'firsts' including: Japan's first cassette tape recorder, Japan's first stereo cassette deck, the first company to manufacture digital audio tape (DAT) products, the first to market a recording headphone stereo, and leading in mini systems.During the 1990s the market for Aiwa's core products, stereo HiFi systems and radios, saw considerable competition, softening prices and slack demand. Aiwa became a volume producer competing on price and gradually reduced its spending on research and development of new products. When the digital revolution began in the late 1990s Aiwa was ill-equipped to provide the products that consumers desired.

Baron Electronics led by Kabir Mulchandani became the exclusive seller of Aiwa electronics in India, in 1998 [ [] "Baron ties up with AIWA"] .

Despite brisk sales in India, the Aiwa Corporation slid towards bankruptcy until it was purchased by competitor Sony Corporation.As of October 1, 2002, Aiwa ceased to be a separate company and became a wholly owned division of Sony Corporation.

Sony's reasoning for acquiring the company is unclear, other than that it was already a shareholder in Aiwa Corporation. However Aiwa has been good for an exorbitant tax refund Fact|date=December 2007 in Japan for FY2002. This offset the dropping figures in Sony's financial report for FY 2002/2003. In January 2003 Sony announced the rebranding and relaunch of Aiwa as a "youth focused, PC-Centric" electronics brand. A new logo was presented to the world's media along with a statement of Sony's intention to invest in and "revitalize" the Aiwa brand.

The direction proposed was to capitalize on the growing trend among PC-literate teenagers and young adults to use their PCs for all forms of entertainment (TV, films, music, chat), an area in which Sony itself was struggling primarily due to the heavy copyright protections it imposed upon its productsFact|date=December 2007.

Unfortunately, the new Aiwa products that came to market in 2003 were rushed and poorly implementedFact|date=December 2007. Sales were poorFact|date=December 2007. Also, the brand strength of Aiwa was primarily concentrated in the 30-60 year old market and lacked credibility with the 13-25 year old target marketFact|date=December 2007.

In 2004 a range of personal MP3 players and USB-connective HiFi systems were launched, including the world's smallest and lightest Hard Disk audio device, intended to rival the Apple iPod. However, success was limited and many of these products received negative press reviews. As a result Aiwa's global sales were disastrousFact|date=December 2007.

Since 2004 Sony has seemingly been rolling back its support for the Aiwa brand and in 2005 Aiwa products remain on sale in only selected territories around the globe. In 2006, Aiwa products were discontinued and no longer sold in the market. As of 2008, the Aiwa website still exists, but it contains some broken links and blank pages.

The company had a logo from the mid 1990s which was used for a very short time.

External links

* [ Official Global Website of Aiwa]
* [ Official U.S. Website of Aiwa]
* [ Vintage Cassette Decks] Collection of Aiwa Vintage Cassette decks and other brands.

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