Canon Business Analysis

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Case Study: Canon - Competing on Capabilities
Introduction
In 1925, a German camera maker named Oskar Barnack, developed a new, ground-breaking camera called the Leica. It was not until 1933 that a company responded to the success of Barnack’s creation and produced their own 35 millimeter version of his innovative design. Thus was born the Canon Company.

By the 1950’s, Canon attained the title of leading producer of cameras in Japan. Since that time, Canon has made it a point to expand and diversify their company as much as possible. They are able to accomplish this primarily through a strong Research and Development program. Through this program, Canon has explored many different technologies such as home electronics and x-ray technology. One of the first product areas they explored was in the electronic calculator segment. Due to the complex nature of the technology, Canon’s engineers were forced to adapt and develop the intricate micro-electric processors that were being used. They were very successful in doing this. In late 1964, one year after their research started, Canon engineers presented top management with the finished product, the Canola 130. This product became the world’s first 10-key numeric pad calculator. However, Canon has not always succeeded in their endeavors. With every triumph comes a failure. One such instance was a printing device that utilized magnetic material that would coat the paper. They called this the Synchroreader. Although it was touted for its use of technology, the application, it was not patented. Another company took the design, improved it, and made it more affordable. Canon learned its lesson after that instance. Body

In 1961, a new technology was developed by the Xerox Corporation. In the following years, with the success of their model 914 office copier, Xerox would enjoy a reported ninety three percent market share world wide. Xerox also had the advantage in that they held approximately five hundred patents....
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