Toshiba is my BRAND. I had one of they PDA in 2003 (touch screen, age of empires 2, mp3,video, SD card: GPS,Camera,Memory...). I liked it: It was a well and clear designed. Its cost 200 bucks (in my country 900!). Why they left the market? I think Toshiba has only one weakness: not a well known brand in the market. I think everybody hear of it but when it is shopping time the people will choose an other brand. As i know Toshiba is a business brand: most of they costumers are managers.
People buy in my country Samsung or Sony or Panasonic and now Apple(they are some kind of "redneck" brand: people buy a well known brand to show us how rich they are; so they actually invest money for a "thing" whose price is well known....). Toshiba is not for the simple people.
Why I like Toshiba? Because Toshiba made a right decision when left the market. Toshiba is open for a new market or new style. Toshiba is open for a change. Microsoft is not. Microsoft think that a smartphone( wich is almost the same I have +phone function) will hit Iphone (in 2009?).
So Toshiba main weakness: is the company's own name. Thats why Toshiba sells they technology for others. The slogen: Toshiba "Leading Innovation" is not a bullshit. They are awesome but not for a simple person.
Product Failures: most of the time because of the name/brand wich is not a well known or not enough known to be succes. The matter is one thing. The brand is a channel to the people.
In the car sector: when you want to target an other costumer group than you will buy/get an old brand name for the new costumers...... A brand is a channel, the product is a Tv show. Maybe Toshiba should pay for the Commodore.
My old PDA:
The biggest failure: PDA. Microsoft thought that a Windows powered personal data assistent will be a big hit. No. Some business man bought it but there were no chanels for a simple costumer. They also didnt know what it is. It was not trendy, they focused on the wrong part of the PDA: help in work. Thats why the people bought something else: never told them its a handheld multimedia station: mp3,movie,games....
And now: Zune HD..... And what? Who cares? PDA was the best in 2003 and? And Blackberry and Apple raised up that time. The market is also not ready for it.