Japanese tech giants hit by Korean competition

SONY and Sharp&rsquo;s third straight quarters of losses underscore the challenges they face in flat-panel TV market as they struggle to compete with Samsung Electronics and other South Korean rivals benefiting from a weaker won.<br /><br />And Nintendo reported a sharp fall in quarterly profit as sales of its Wii game console lost some steam and the stronger yen took a toll. It reiterated its forecast for profit to fall for the first time in four years.<br /><br />Sony, which vies with Panasonic for the position as the world&rsquo;s largest consumer electronics maker, is struggling to keep up with Samsung in LCD TVs and has been outmatched by Nintendo in video games.<br /><br />In the portable music player market, which Sony created 30 years ago with the Walkman, it trails Apple&rsquo;s iPod, while its mobile phone venture with Ericsson has been mired in the red and may need financial support.