Although much has been made of Sony's recent resurgence under Sir Howard Stringer, the Tokyo monster may be surprised to learn that it has been toppled as the public's favourite producer of quality electronics.
The finding comes from a survey of 600 people carried out in May by a Japanese business newspaper, the Nikkei.
Results showed that, "consumers who value qualities like refinement and excellent design tend to choose products made by Panasonic when they buy audiovisual devices like TVs and DVD recorders."
The complex survey looked at products people already own and those they plan to buy next, with Panasonic rating highest in both cases for both TV sets and video recorders.
Rank and file
Sony, which has long been seen as the quality brand among Japanese electronics suppliers, came out amongst the rank and file that includes Sharp, Toshiba, JVC and Mitsubishi.
The Panasonic brand has traditionally been seen as solid but unoriginal, however a series of successful product launches, such as Viera TVs, since 2002 has culminated in a new sense of trust.
Hope for Sony
Nevertheless, the news isn't all bad for Sony, as responses on video recorders and PCs showed there were more people interested in buying Sony gear in the near future than who currently use Sony products.
This suggests there may be some substance to the recent uptick in Sony's perceived health.