US tops list of countries with global superior products
The United States remained the first among top five nations in terms of its superior products in 2013, according to a survey released by Japan's leading business daily Nihon Keizai Shimbun on Monday.
The survey of the world's top products based on their market shares showed the US came first with 18 products and services, down from 19 in 2012, followed by Japan with 11 and the EU with 8. South Korea shared fourth place with China by topping the six product categories, down from eight in 2012.
Samsung Electronics manufactured the products selected as No. 1 in the categories of smartphones, flat-panel TVs, NAND flash memory and DRAM, while Samsung SDI's lithium-ion batteries ranked No. 1 in its category. LG Display was selected for liquid crystal display panels.
Across the 50 categories surveyed, five, including the PC and server sectors, saw changes in leadership.
Chinese PC maker Lenovo, the only global PC maker that increased the volume of its shipments last year, became the world's largest PC manufacturer, outpacing Hewlett Packard. Meanwhile, Sony topped the game console category with its Playstation 4.
Danish firm Vestas ranked first in the wind generator market, outdoing General Electric.
The number of product categories in which the top three firms account for more than half the market share stood at 28 in 2013, down from 31 in 2012.
The Japanese business newspaper said that emerging firms weakened the dominance of top companies, as seen in the smartphone and tablet markets, where Chinese companies posed a challenge to top market players like Apple.
Among Chinese firms that retained the global leadership were Haier in the washing machine sector, China Tobacco in the tobacco market, and Yingli Green Energy Holding in solar energy.
Another notable factor found in the report is that some companies increased their market presence through mergers and acquisitions. Micron Technology, it noted, became the second-largest DRAM maker by market share after it acquired Elpida Memory last year.
The report anticipated that corporations would further try to strengthen their footholds through M&A deals.
Toray Industries bought U.S. carbon fiber maker Zoltek last year, and the merger of Applied Materials, the largest chip equipment manufacturer, and Tokyo Electron, the fourth-largest chip equipment producer, is expected to be completed this year.