The Japanese press has celebrated the country's role in supplying Apple.
The two authors have long had their doubts.
Some companies have not been as lucky as Niigata's Kobayashi. Shicoh, a Kanagawa Prefecture-based small motor company, went bankrupt last year. "Apple pulled out of its business with Shicoh and the result was sudden death," Goto says. The company is looking for outside funding as it goes through restructuring.
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"Put simply, it's Apple or die. Or, these days, Samsung," Goto says. Who is to blame for the dire situation the Japanese electronics industry finds itself in?
"We have been warning people for years, but management are already too old," Morikawa says. "They just want to survive in their position right now."
The two argue that Samsung is not a savior for Japan, but the opposite. As Samsung imitates the model created by Apple for doing business with Japan, the situation has worsened.
William Saito, a Japan-based venture capitalist, agrees. "I am quite worried about innovation in Japan," he said in a July presentation on the country's future prospects in Tokyo. "The country is becoming a parts culture. Parts generally have margins of less than 2 percent. One reason is that the number of parts in devices is declining."
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A creativity dearth in Japan has hobbled the nation's electronics industry. World-beating products such as the Sony Walkman, Nintendo Entertainment System and VHS video cassette recorder are no longer produced. The nation has a technological edge that it is unable to translate into consumer hits.
"Many Japanese have great intellectual property, but our management forget where we are from," Goto says. "Once Sony was a startup. It is not a startup any more." He points to the contradictory nature of Sony's camera business. It supplies high-end lenses to Apple for low margins, damaging its own business.
At Sharp, the situation is more dire. "Sharp has no core products other than LCD," according to Morikawa. LCD accounted for 18.5 percent of company sales in 2011. The figure had risen to 26.2 percent by 2012, with sales rising by 276.32 billion yen ($2.84 billion).
"There is no way they can get out of this situation. It is impossible to become big again," says Morikawa. When the iPhone 5 performed worse than expected last year, Sharp faced potential bankruptcy, and eventually was rescued by a $111 million investment from Samsung.
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The authors also point a finger at Apple. They argue that the Cupertino, Calif.-based company's negotiating terms are unreasonable. "Apple requests the highest technology at the lowest cost," Goto says. "Dell and Hewlett Packard pay low fees but only require middle technology [which is cheaper to produce]."
Burning one's suppliers is dangerous. "Apple has to change its strategy, it is not a startup anymore," Goto says. Now that its business is maturing, "It needs to take care of its supply chain more than in its past. They have to share some profit with their most important suppliers," or risk losing partners it relies on, and damaging economies where it has many customers. "But maybe they don't care," he concludes.
Japan had better hope that terms do improve.
Away from Apple components, a major focus for the country is televisions. 4K technology now coming to the market has taken massive investment from companies such as Sony. Prices for the televisions are coming down, portending future troubles.
"Managers at these companies are hardware oriented with old hobbies," Goto says, pointing out for many older Japanese, a night in front of a large, state-of-the-art TV is the a common way of relaxing. "Sometimes, YouTube on this screen is good enough."
He points to his iPhone 5.