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The Aiwa Corporation
Industry Consumer electronics
Fate Acquired by Sony Corporation, sold off to Hale Devices and Aiwa is now an independent company, after its acquirer, Hale Devices, changed its name to Aiwa.
Successor Became a subsidiary of Sony Corporation (former), became owned by same-named company, Aiwa (currently).
Founded 1951
Defunct  • 2002 (company)
 • 2006 (brand), as of 2015 not defunct.
Headquarters Japan
Parent Sony Corporation (2002–2006), Hale Devices (2006-2015), Aiwa (2015-)
File:AIWA HS-P05 Mk II 2.jpg
1980s Aiwa audio cassette player
File:AIWA F810.jpg
Aiwa F810 tape deck
File:Aiwa XR-V10MD.jpg
Aiwa XR-V10MD Hi-Fi system and MD/DVD player

The Aiwa Corporation (commonly called Aiwa (アイワ?)) is a Japanese consumer-electronics company. It is now a trademark of a Chicago-based company named Aiwa. It produced audio and video equipment from the 1970s until the early 2000s.


The company was founded in 1951 as AIKO Denki Sangyo Co., Ltd., manufacturing microphones, and changed its name to Aiwa Co., Ltd. in October 1959.[1] The company was a leading manufacturer of audio products, including headphone stereos, minicomponent stereo systems, portable stereo systems, minidisc players, CD and cassette players, and car stereo systems throughout the 70s, 80s and 90s.[2][3] Nearly 86 percent of company revenues were derived from such audio products. The company also made and sold video products, such as VCRs, color televisions, DVD players, and digital satellite television tuners; this sector accounted for about 12 percent of sales. In the "other" category responsible for the remainder of sales, Aiwa was involved in the production of computer peripherals devices, such as modems, terminal adapters, and speakers, and what the company termed "life amenity products," such as air cleaners and humidifiers.

Aiwa manufactured more than 89 percent of its output outside of Japan, with a heavy emphasis on the lower-cost southeast Asian nations of Singapore, Malaysia, and Indonesia. The company was also heavily dependent on overseas sales, with more than 80 percent of total revenues being generated outside Japan, with 43 percent in North and South America, 25 percent in Europe, and 13 percent in areas of Asia outside Japan and in other regions. Although officially an affiliated company of consumer electronics giant Sony Corporation — by 1982 Sony had a 54.6% stake in the company.[4]

Operations after acquisition by Sony

The company slid towards bankruptcy until it was purchased by competitor Sony Corporation.[5] As of October 1, 2002, Aiwa ceased to be a separate company and became a wholly owned division of Sony. The company retained a logo from the mid-1990s which was used for a very short time.

In January 2003, Sony announced the rebranding and relaunch of Aiwa as a "youth focused, PC-centric" electronics brand.[6] 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 personal-computer-literate teenagers and young adults to use their PCs for all forms of entertainment (television, films, music, chat).

By 2005 Aiwa products remained on sale in only selected territories around the globe. In 2006, Aiwa products were discontinued and no longer sold in the market.

As of January 2014, the Aiwa website still existed to provide customer-support telephone numbers for some territories and regions, but it also contained many broken links and blank pages. In other regions, such as Europe, it redirected to a page on the Sony website stating that the Aiwa website had closed.[7]

In March 2015, a Chicago-based consumer electronics company headed by Joe Born and previously called Hale Devices, Inc. announced it had acquired the Aiwa trademark, was renaming itself Aiwa and was launching a line of wireless speakers under that brand name.[8]

See also

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  1. ^ "Aiwa Co., Ltd. History". Retrieved March 31, 2015. 
  2. ^ Andy Madden (March 18, 2015). "Aiwa returns with the Exos-9 Bluetooth speaker". What Hi-Fi? Sound and Vision. Haymarket Media Group. Retrieved March 31, 2015. 
  3. ^ "Aiwa". Luxury Publishing Group Inc. Retrieved March 31, 2015. 
  4. ^ "The giants in Japanese electronics". The Economist. February 20, 1982. Retrieved March 31, 2015. 
  5. ^ Adrian Covert (September 16, 2011). "Aiwa: The Almost Great Audio Company". Gizmodo. Gawker Media. Retrieved March 31, 2015. 
  6. ^ Mark Sweney (February 14, 2003). "Sony in talks with London shops about global Aiwa creative brief". Brand Republic (Haymarket Media Group). Retrieved March 31, 2015. 
  7. ^ "Find out about AIWA Support: Official Information from Sony". Sony Europe. Sony. Retrieved June 9, 2012. 
  8. ^ John Carpenter (March 11, 2015). "How Aiwa, a former global stereo brand, is getting resurrected in Chicago". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved March 31, 2015.