Sharp celebrates a century of innovation


Image: By Sharp
Sharp celebrates a century of innovation

Sharp Corporation is celebrating a milestone this year:  for 100 years, the company has stood as a trusted symbol to connecting customers and businesses worldwide.

Since its founding in 1912, Sharp has made products known and loved around the world, and in September 2012, the company celebrates its 100th anniversary, an achievement made possible by the support of its many customers over the years.

Sharp entered the South African market in 1968 through Supima (Pty) Ltd, which obtained licenses for local market Sharp Calculators, Sharp Microwave ovens and other electrical goods. In 1973, Sharp Electronics South Africa was established and only Sharp products were sold under this banner including the then, new, Sharp Electrostatic Type Photocopier.

The Corporation began from humble beginnings in 1912, when Mr Tokuji Hayakawa established a metalworking shop in Tokyo, Japan. The Sharp name originated in 1915 when Mr Hayakawa created the mechanical pencil (later known as the ever-sharp pencil).

"Make products that others want to imitate." These words, spoken by Tokuji Hayakawa, founder of Sharp, are more than a motto – it stands for a corporate philosophy that has made Sharp the company it is today: an innovation and technology leader in many areas and renowned for products which make life better and simpler.

Faced with a number of challenges through the years, such as the Great Kanto earthquake which destroyed the pencil factory in 1923, and the Second World War which ended in 1945, the company continued its pursuit of innovation and has revolutionized the way people live for 100 years by creating numerous innovations that are both reliable and practical. Throughout the years and across the world, millions of people would have had an encounter with a Sharp product at some point or other.

Sharp also recently celebrated 40 years of bringing quality document solutions to customers and has pledged to maintain its commitment to delivering world-class, reliable, innovative and environmentally-friendly printing solutions across the region. Sharp’s current extensive line-up of colour and black and white multi-function printers (MFPs) builds upon its rich heritage in document solutions, which began in 1972 with the SF-201, Sharp’s first copier. At the end of 2011, total production of copier based MFP’s had surpassed 16 million units.

“We are at the forefront of end-to-end business solutions in the region, and celebrating 100 years of Sharp as well as 40 years of our document solutions division is proof that the company stands the test of time and continues to innovate for an evolving marketplace,” said Tomoo Shimizu, Director, Business Solutions Division, Sharp Middle East.

“At Sharp, we believe our products should solve real human problems and this is why we always look for opportunities to improve life, for the environment and society, and why provide solutions with the user in mind.

“It’s truly a memorable occasion to celebrate both milestones, and we look forward to continued innovation for the next 100 years,” he added.

“From the widest range of large screen interactive touch screen displays to the latest in solar technology, our wide range of products are designed to enhance people's lives at home, work, and everywhere in between,” concluded Shimizu.

Sharp is committed to increasing penetration in a number of key product segments and growing its market share in South Africa’s business solutions sector.

For more information on Sharp’s achievements though the past 100 years, visit

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